Thursday, January 27, 2022

STEVE COLEMAN and FIVE ELEMENTS – Resistance Is Futile / Live (3LP-2005)



Label: Private Press / Unofficial Release / LBLC6643/44/45-3LP
Format: 3 x Vinyl, Album / Country: Switzerland / Released: 2001/Re-2005
Style: Experimental Jazz, Free Jazz
Live concert recordings made at Jam, Montpellier, France, July 12-13, 2001.
Mixed July/August 2001 (By – Joseph Marciano, Steve Coleman)
Mastered August 21, 2001 (By – Nicholas Prout)
Engineer – Hervé Martin, Vincent Mahey
Design – Jérôme Witz
Photography By – Guy Le Querrec
Producer – Steve Coleman
Co-producer [Assistant] – Geoffroy De Masure
Executive-Producer – Pierre Walfisz
Liner Notes – Steve Coleman
Matrix / Runout (LP-1, side A): Private LBLC6643 – 01
Matrix / Runout (LP-1, side B): Private LBLC6643 – 01b
Matrix / Runout (LP-2, side C): Private LBLC6644 – 02
Matrix / Runout (LP-2, side D): Private LBLC6644 – 02b
Matrix / Runout (LP-3, side E): Private LBLC6645 – 03
Matrix / Runout (LP-3, side F): Private LBLC6645 – 03b

SET 1 - ABUNDANCE (FULLNESS)
side 1:
A1 - Wheel Of Nature ............................................................................................ 18:54
A2 - Beyond All We Know ....................................................................................... 6:05

side 2:
B1 - 9 To 5 ............................................................................................................ 14:42
B2 - Change The Guard ......................................................................................... 8:57

side 3:
C1 - Ah-Leu-Cha .................................................................................................... 5:28
C2 - Law Of Balance / Figit Time ......................................................................... 13:50

SET 2 - THE WANDERER
side 4:
D1 - Resistance Is Futile (Limitation) ................................................................... 15:14
D2 - Hits / Straight No Chaser ............................................................................... 6:10
D3 - Pad Thai ......................................................................................................... 2:55

side 5:
E1 - Easy Living ..................................................................................................... 7:15
E2 - Flint ............................................................................................................... 12:25

side 6:
F1 - Urban .............................................................................................................. 7:37
F2 - Straight Ahead ................................................................................................ 5:46
F3 - Reflex ............................................................................................................ 10:04

Personnel:
Steve Coleman – alto saxophone, vocals
Jonathan Finlayson – trumpet
Ambrose Campbell-Akinmusire – trumpet
Andy Milne – piano, keyboards
Anthony Tidd – bass
Jesús Diaz – percussion, vocals
Sean Rickman – drums
Geoffroy DeMasure – trombone (guest)



The high-concept recordings of saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Steve Coleman are often confrontational, always provocative, and thoroughly engaging. Still, one cannot help but feel that something gets lost in the translation process in the recording studio. This triple-LP live package, recorded in France in 2001 from two concerts, showcases the Five Elements at their most ambitious, yet subtle best.



Coleman's lineup features trumpeters Jonathan Finlayson and Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Andy Milne, Anthony Tidd on bass, Jesús Diaz on percussion, drummer Sean Rickman, and trombonist Geoffroy DeMasure. While it's true that most of these musicians are not well known, it's all for the better. Coleman's vision is pure, and the strengths of his collaborators shine through as part of the ensemble, according to plan. Set one is for the most part subdued and meditative, though there are moments of joyous, raucous energy that burst from the seams of the music, such as on "9 to 5," where a long, nearly classical opening is augmented by a Bulgarian dance band melodic line that gives way to a funky overdriven modal chart allowing the front-line players short solos that interchange at a rapid pace. Likewise, the cover of Mingus' "Ah-Leu-Cha" is saturated in deep, greasy blues and gutbucket funk. The way in which Coleman moves the band through the intervals in the bridge is simply stunning.




Second set, which kicks off with the title track, offers a melodic line that is Latin in root, modal in step, and Sun Ra-ish in articulation. The front line shows great discipline in playing just behind the beat with long lines; they angle around a chord figure that is continually refracted against the dissonance by Milne, until the tune breaks open into improvisation with Coleman taking the lead. Track two, the funky "Hits," feels like an Ornette tune coming out of P-Funk, until it breaks down into "Straight, No Chaser" and then "Easy Living." But that's the beginning, really, as Coleman and company tear into a tune by Jerry Goldsmith, a few originals, and one of the finest renditions of Mal Waldron's "Straight Ahead" ever played. Ending with Coleman's "Reflex," the saxophonist moves the edges to the margin and concentrates all of his organizational energies on bringing the band down into the heart of the strange and beautiful melody, accenting the polyrhythms with flurries of notes that open the doors wider and allow everybody to settle into a space that gradually pushes out into the realm of silence. This is one of those rare performances where everything works, and comes across to the listener as an actual concert experience.

(Review by Thom Jurek)



If you find it, buy this album!

ANGLES 9 – Injuries (Clean Feed – CF303LP / 2LP-2014)



Label: Clean Feed – CF303LP
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Portugal / Released: 2014
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
Recorded at Atlantis, Stockholm the 15th and 16th of December 2013
Design – Travassos
Photography By – Fridtjof Nansen
Arranged By – Angles 9
Executive-Producer – Trem Azul
Producer, Liner Notes – Martin Küchen
Lacquer Cut By – LvC
Mastered By – Håkan Åkesson
Mixed By – Mats Äleklint
Recorded By – Janne Hansson
Composed By – Martin Küchen
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, hand-etched): CF303 -A- -LvC- MPO
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, hand-etched): CF303 -B- -LvC- MPO
Matrix / Runout (Side C runout, hand-etched): CF303 -C- -LvC- MPO
Matrix / Runout (Side D runout, hand-etched): CF303 -D- -LvC- MPO

side A
A1 - European Boogie ........................................................................................... 7:09
A2 - Eti ................................................................................................................. 10:51

side B
B  -  A Desert On Fire, A Forest / I've Been Lied To ............................................. 22:40

side C
C1 - Ubabba .......................................................................................................... 6:53
C2 - In Our Midst ................................................................................................. 10:36

side D
D1 - Injuries ......................................................................................................... 12:42
D2 - Compartmentalization .................................................................................... 5:39

Personnel:
MAGNUS BROO, trumpet
MATS ÄLEKLINT, trombone
MARTIN KÜCHEN, alto and tenor sax
EIRIK HEGDAL, baritone and soprano sax
GORAN KAJFES, cornet
JOHAN BERTHLING, bass
MATTIAS STÅHL, vibes
ALEXANDER ZETHSON, upright and grand piano
ANDREAS WERLIIN, drums

Martin Küchen and his cohorts present us with big band music that frames grand and expansive moments within minimalist and quite improvisational borders. It is exhilarating, shiver-inducing music, but with a contemplative and spiritual thread passing through it...



Angles 9 is edition of the ensemble convened by saxophonist Martin Küchen in 2007 as Angles 6 which, by 2011, had expanded to Angles 8. It is a stunning nonet of some of Scandinavia's finest improvising players, including Küchen himself on alto and tenor saxes, Eirik Hegdal on baritone and sopranino saxes, double bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin. Injuries is the second recording by this incarnation of Angles, following In Our Midst (Clean Feed, 2013) the beautiful title track of which is reprised here. That album was only released on vinyl, while Injuries is available either as a gatefold double vinyl album or on CD. It features seven Küchen compositions, all arranged by the entire ensemble, imbuing them with an appealingly loose collective feel. The front line of two saxophones, cornet, trumpet and trombone packs a hefty punch and is ably supported by the rhythm section of bass, drums and piano — plus the crucial inclusion of Mattias Ståhl on vibraphone, which gives the music a lightness reminiscent of Bobby Hutcherson's role with Eric Dolphy.

Across the album, there is great variety in the music, with extreme changes of mood between tracks, seemingly corresponding to the different sides of the vinyl edition. So, side one is upbeat and energetic: the opener "European Boogie", underpinned throughout by Ståhl, is driven along by powerful ensemble horn riffs interspersed with some fine free blowing, notably from trumpeter Magnus Broo; "Efi", also propelled by a riff overlaid with criss-cross soloing, effortlessly sustains the high energy level. The transition to side two's single extended track, "A Desert on Fire, a Forest / I've Been Lied To", is dramatic as it is more sedately paced and atmospheric, spotlighting the rhythm section rather than the front line, with pianist Alexander Zethson in fine form. Although radically different, taken together these two sides emphasise the ingredients that are key to the success of Injuries — there is not a wasted note or ounce of flab in evidence, with every single member of the ensemble being a first-rate instrumentalist who is full of ideas.




Berthling and Werliin are also two thirds of the renowned Fire! Trio (with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson) and that trio are at the heart of the created — and much praised — Fire! Orchestra, where they were also joined by Küchen on the orchestra's 2014 release Enter; Broo and trombonist Mats Äleklint are also members — making a total of five Angles 9 members who are in the Fire! Orchestra. While comparing contrasting ensembles can frequently be deceptive, in this case the shared membership makes comparison irresistible. Despite being one third the size of the orchestra, by comparison Angles 9 does not lack firepower. Rather, the nine-piece seems lighter on its feet than the orchestra of twenty-plus members and it fizzes with the energy and exuberance that the Fire! Orchestra can occasionally miss. Altogether, Injuries demonstrates that, while size undoubtedly does matter, bigger is not always better. End result: it is one of 2014's very best albums. Stunning.

(Review by John Eyles)



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

WILLIAM HOOKER – Earth's Orbit (NBLP 10/11 / Numbered / 2LP-2010)



Label: NoBusiness Records – NBLP 10/11
Format: 2 x Vinyl, Limited edition [hand-written number] of 500 records
Country: Lithuania / Released: 2010
Style: Free Jazz
Bliss (east): 25th March, 2007 at The Stone, New York City.
Bliss (west): 20th July, 2009 at The Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, California.
Mastered By – Paul Zinman
Recorded By – Robert O'Haire (tracks: A1 to B2), Weasel Walter (tracks: C, D)
Design – Oskaras Anosovas
Co-producer – Valerij Anosov
Producer – William Hooker
Executive-Producer – Danas Mikailionis
Composed By – William Hooker
Printed By – UAB "Garsu Pasaulis"
Records made in Germany

BLISS (EAST)
side 1:
A  -  Chronofiles>
        Tensegrity>
        Tetrahedron .................................................................................................. 20:59

side 2:
B1 - Streamlined Unit ........................................................................................... 11:29
B2 - 4d To Dymaxion ............................................................................................ 11:14

Personnel:
William Hooker – drums
Darius Jones – alto saxophone
Adam Lane – bass

BLISS (WEST)
side 3:
C  -  Tensegrity (4d) Part 1 ................................................................................ 19:50

side 4:
D  -  Tensegrity (4d) Part 2 ................................................................................ 19:24

Personnel:
William Hooker – drums
Aaron Bennett – tenor saxophone
Weasel Walter – guitar
Damon Smith – bass

Hooker leads from the front on both discs, molding and shaping the flow with his finely honed, almost orchestral sense of sound placement, density and dynamics imparting form and purpose to even the freest moments. Hooker's compositional frameworks are slight, acting as signposts rather than routemaps, signaling direction but not the precise means to reach the destination. As a consequence frequent daredevil diversions are unpredictable and rewarding.

Free jazz drummer William Hooker has led and participated in some very interesting ensembles during his lengthy career on the free jazz scene, none more so than the fascinating and exciting group assembled for this recording. The first part of this limited edition LP set is a suite entitled "Bliss (east)" with Hooker on drums, Darius Jones on alto sax and Adam Lane on bass. This is a very powerful performance recorded at The Stone in New York City in 2007. The group makes for a lean and powerful trio with Hooker's free ranging drums and Lane's rock solid and dependable bass making a perfect launching pad for Jones's extraordinary saxophone flight. Jones has a raw and thrilling tone on his instrument and the same energy that he brought to his solo album Man'ish Boy and the collective Little Women is on display here. With the immediate and caustic tone of the saxophone combined the elastic bass and ever shifting drums, tracks like the lengthy "Chronofiles" develop a powerful and visceral presence that is continually compelling.




The second section entitled "Bliss (west)" has a different band with Hooker on drums, Aaron Bennett on tenor saxophone, Weasel Walter on guitar, and Damon Smith on bass. At nearly 40 minutes in length, the two part "Tensegrity(4d)" is a wild and thrilling ride. The addition of Walter makes for a more vividly textured recording and the live audience at The Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco is deeply engaged and supportive of the band. The performance builds to a very exciting and dramatic conclusion, the all the musicians locked in and driving to the finish. This was a very exciting and enjoyable album, free jazz fans with a functioning turntable are advised to pick up a copy before they disappear. Hopefully there will be a digital version soon, so that the this music can get the wider audience it deserves.

(Tim Niland - Jazz and Blues Blog)



If you find it, buy this album!

ADAM LANE TRIO – Absolute Horizon (NB2LP 68-I / Extended / 2LP-2013)



Label: NoBusiness Records – NB2LP 68-I / Extended Edition
Limited to 200 copies
Format: 2x Vinyl, LP / Country: Lithuania / Released: 2013
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Free Jazz
Recorded June 10, 2010 at Wombat Recording Company, Brooklyn, NY
Mixed in Brooklyn, NY July 31, 2012 – by Jon Rosenberg
Recorded By – Ross Bonadonna
Design – Oskaras Anosovas
Photography By [Cover] – Peter Gannushkin
Co-producer – Valerij Anosov
Producer – Danas Mikailionis
Liner Notes – Adam Lane
Music By – Lane, Jones, Anderson
Matrix / Runout: 13-07/5488-0004 NB2LP 68-I

side 1:
A1 - Absolute Horizon ............................................................................................ 8:57
A2 - Stars ............................................................................................................... 6:54

side 2:
B1 - The Great Glass Elevator .............................................................................. 7:48
B2 - Run To Infinity ................................................................................................ 9:52

side 3:
C - Apparent Horizon ........................................................................................... 10:14

side 4:
D1 - Bioluminescence ............................................................................................ 7:23
D2 - Light ............................................................................................................. 10:50

Personnel:
Adam Lane – bass
Darius Jones – alto saxophone
Vijay Anderson – drums, percussion

After listening to the album, it's somewhat mystifying that the program was constructed entirely on improvisation. This attribute alone serves as a testament to the artists' stunning interactions and reformulations, evidenced within each ensuing development.


I’m a sucker for the thick, bluesy tone of Adam Lane’s bass—somehow, he always manages to convey its grittiest, most grounded side. Absolute Horizon kicks off with a track of the same name,  a slow tattoo rising from drummer Vijay Anderson and Lane stumbling into a bass line that can’t help but give off a little swagger. Slowly, a groove coalesces, just the sort of low-end ride to best deliver Darius Jones’s sickly-sweet saxophone. Within minutes, you realize: this is what I want in a saxophone trio. There’s an edge for sure, but also the piece that fits perfectly into the well-worn rhythmic folds of your brain. Things heat up, but the trio never breaks a sweat. They ease out of the track just a coolly and calmly as they brought it into being.

The rest of Absolute Horizon can be typified by a track like “The Great Glass Elevator,” which breaks out a slick bassline about halfway through, the rhythm section working its way to a place where Jones gets everything he needs to go to town. And he does, getting such a deep, soulful sound out his alto that it sounds far more substantial, like a tenor. Elsewhere, “Stars” finds Lane bowing the hell out of his effects-laden bass. It’s not the most effective track, but it showcases a different side of the group as they move away from bluesy, heavily rhythmic improvisation and work towards continuously molding and remolding a unified slab of sound. “Run to Infinity” sounds just as it should, a driving rhythm over which Jones continually accelerates, the gaps between notes becoming ever shorter, the melodic line
further and further compressed. Absolute Horizon closes on “Light,” which has a walking bassline that would be better characterized as sprinting, complete with racing high-hat and uncontainable shouts of exhilaration in the background.




The CD version of Absolute Horizon is nearly twice the length of the LP, and for gourmets, an extended LP release is available too, a double album in a very limited edition of just 200 copies. All tracks are worth your time (“Apparent Horizon” has a particularly tasty bit of drum and bass). Basically, Absolute Horizon is the usual NoBusiness story: above-average musicians making above-average music. A little something for fans of Lane’s rawer side after the more straight-ahead sounds of the Blue Spirit Band releases.
(Review by Dan Sorrells)



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

NAKATANI / TINER / DRAKE – Ritual Inscription (Epigraph Rec. / LP-2012)



Label: Epigraph Records – lp-001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Numbered / Country: US / Released: Jan 17, 2012
Style: Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Metro Galleries, Bakersfield, California on May 13, 2010.
Artwork [Cover], Design – Alex Sarad
Engineer, Mixed By – Brian Boozer (Aum Studio, Bakersfield)
Mastered By – Richard Simpson (Aum Studio, Bakersfield)
Copyright © – Epigraph Records
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout): EPIGRAPH-001-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout): EPIGRAPH-001-B

side 1:
A - Ritual ................................................................................................................. 18:38

side 2:
B - Inscription .......................................................................................................... 13:07

Personnel:
Tatsuya Nakatani – percussion
Kris Tiner – trumpet, flugelhorn
Jeremy Drake – electric guitar

Limited edition of 500 hand numbered copies.
First 100 copies were pressed on clear vinyl. All copies have one of 5 different screen printed designs on the bottom right corner of the back cover.


Epigraph Records first release, Ritual Inscription, documents live, improvised creative music in Bakersfield, California, Epigraph's home base. Renowned Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani meets two local comrades, trumpeter Kris Tiner (the founder of the label) and guitarist Jeremy Drake for two intense improvisations.
Chaotic sounds of gongs and assorted percussion merge with serene lines from the trumpet and the rubbing and strumming of the guitar strings on the first improvisation, "Ritual." These elastic, kinetic sounds mutate constantly, coloring a broad canvas through tight and thick interplay. No sound is obvious; the trio deserts common instrumental roles for inventive and challenging ones. The narrative of the improvisation is loose, but the fierce, intense sonic alchemy is arresting—an idiosyncratic language outlined spontaneously.



The second improvisation, "Inscription," is shorter and more peaceful. Tiner sets a tone of serenity, while the resourceful Nakatani and Drake embrace him with imaginative sounds. Here, Nakatani demonstrates true magic with his set of percussion instruments. His rich vocabulary of sounds and his highly personal concept of rhythm and pulse gain volume and endless power. His ideas become more disciplined and coherent as the improvisation develops, and he carries it through to the quiet coda.

This limited edition with five different original designs printed on the back, contains brilliant and masterful improvisations.

Highly recommended ...!!!........................ (By Eyal Hareuveni / AAJ-2012)



If you find it, buy this album!

NAKATANI / PARISH / ROWDEN – Live At Static Age Records (cassette-2020)



Label: Astral Spirits ‎– AS146
Format: Cassette, Album, Limited Edition, Blue
Land: US / Veröffentlicht: 18 Sep 2020
Stil: Free Improvisation
Recorded at Static Age Records in Asheville, North Carolina June 10, 2018.
Mixed in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico Summer 2019.
Mixed By – Tatsuya Nakatani
Recorded By – Dylan Jordan
Copyright Tatsuya Nakatani / Shane Parish / Zach Rowden 2020

side 1:
A - In ......................................................................................................................... 16:32

side2:
B1 - Ter ..................................................................................................................... 10:16
B2 - Stice .................................................................................................................. 11:50

Personnel:
Tatsuya Nakatani – percussion
Shane Parish – nylon string guitar
Zach Rowden – double bass

Specially edition, press of 200 copies on solid blue shell with white text and different design.


An exhilarating set of three improvisations between percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, guitarist Shane Parish (Ahleuchatistas) and double bassist Zach Rowden, recorded live at Static Age Records in Asheville, NC in 2018 while Nakatani was on tour, his inventive mix of drumming and tumultuously ringing percussion perfectly complementing the introspectively energetic trio interaction. The three improvisations spell out the word "Interstice", the first two sections of 16 & 10 minutes in length the most ferociously powerful, the final "Stice" introverting their playing to a steady boil of almost Arabic guitar riffs, with Arco bass lines from Rowden as Nakatani's drums deeply roll and resound. An absolutely impressive performance.



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, February 1, 2021

MICHEL REDOLFI / ANDRÉ JAUME – Hardscore (Côte D'Azur / LP-1981...?)




Label: Côte D'Azur ‎– CDA 02
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: France / Released: 1981
Style: Free Jazz, Musique Concrète, Experimental
Recorded and Mixed by Michel Redolfi in Marseille at GMEM Studios.
Artwork / Re-Design By [Cover Design] – V. Salvarica
Photography – Bragoni, Canavaggio, Pajot
Recorded By, Mixed By – Michel Redolfi
Producer – Philippe Conrath
Executive Producer – D. Buscail, Ph. Caviglio
Composed By – André Jaume / Michel Redolfi
Matrix / Runout (Side A): CDA 02 A- I
Matrix / Runout (Side B): CDA 02 B-II

side 1
A1 - André Jaume – Cupabia .................................................................................. 10:15
                                  part 1 Asciuma
                                  part 2 Ventitellu
                                  part 3 Timporale

A2 - André Jaume – Opalescence ........................................................................... 4:45
A3 - André Jaume – Ballade Pour Hector ................................................................ 4:42

side 2
B1 - Michel Redolfi – Naissance Et Agonie De Ma Lampe De Chevet .................... 9:45
B2 - Michel Redolfi – Hardscore ............................................................................. 10:37
                                   (text by – Lanie Goodman)

Personnel:
André Jaume – bass larinet / tenor saxophone
Michel Redolfi – synthesizer [synclavier digital synthesizer]
Jean-Marc Montera – guitar
Jacques Diennet – keyboards
Frank Royon Le Mée – vocals

Much more known for his aquatic electroacoustic environments including albums for that genre's landmark Ina/GRM imprint, it seems Michel Redolfi's association with the largely free music-focused imprint Hat Hut which issued his first album had the knock-on effect of bringing him together with both sax and clarinet improvisor Jaume (whose CV includes recordings with Joe Mcphee, Raymond Boni and Charlie Mariano) and the passel of improvisors more readily associated with the label during the early 80's, including guitarist Marc Montera and second keyboardist Jacques Diennet, who'd later join forces again for Diennet's 1987 Hat Hut-issued LP boxset Mante, though Hardscore itself wasn't actually issued on that label.



Jaume's compositions comprise side A, Redolfi's side B, though both appear throughout. The Jaume-penned outing on side A is splendid: a rambunctious and splutteringly digestive cartoonish sound clash akin to that deployed by the Un Drame Musical Instantane/GRRR crew that pits Jaume's bass clarinet and tenor sax against playfully gurgling atmospheres from Redolfi which are then cross-hatched and perforated by the fits and spits emitted from guitarist Jean-Marc Montera, second keyboardist Jacques Diennet and vocalist Frank Royon Le Mee. Redolfi's two B-side compositions are things of confounding beauty, stepping away from his understood identity far more than the surges of Michel Waisvisz-like free synth splatter that be brings to bear on Jaume behalf on the A Side. On Naissance Et Agonie De Ma Lampe De Chevet, Redolfi sticks to a background scrim of droning coloration while Frank Royon Le Mee and Jaume use clarinets, sax, delicate acoustic guitar and and vocals of bird-like delicacy and sensitivity to evoke a ritualistic summoning on the spirits, while the title track teases a candy floss of atonal synthetic unguent around Jaume's moist emissions 'til they both explode in a polyphonically saturated and tonally ripe burst of synthetically smeared sax love.

(Review By VDOANDSOUND)


This two-part suite is actually a hidden gem of rogue Acoustic-Electronic interplay & tight, blocky Concrète moves, heavily featuring Redolfi's Synclavier interjections.



If you find it, buy this album!