AMN Picks of the Week: Robert Scott Thompson / Locrian / Roy Mattson / Autistici / Bridge Sessions

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Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Robert Scott Thompson – Play is the Supreme Bricoleur of Frail Transient Constructions (2012)
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution (2015)
Roy Mattson – Mesmer (2015)
Autistici – Live at Electric Spring (2015)
The Bridge Sessions – Sonic Communication (2015)

Ingrid Laubrock Residency in NY, July 31 – August 1

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From Ingrid Laubrock:

Saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock will premiere new music over two evenings on July 31 and August 1 at the Jazz Gallery in NYC as part of The Jazz Gallery Residency Commission Series. The two nights will feature two very different ensembles performing the same compositions: the first evening (7/31) she will be joined by Kris Davis on piano and Mary Halvorson on guitar, and the the second evening (8/1) by Vincent Chancey on french horn and pandeiro, Eivind Opsvik and Michael Formanek on double basses, and Tom Rainey on drums. Ms. Laubrock will perform both evenings on soprano and tenor saxophones as well as short pieces on piano. Of the new works, Laubrock says, “My idea behind composing one repertoire for these two entirely different lineups was to write music that is malleable and completely new sounding in two consecutive nights of performances, kind of ‘the same, but not the same’. I chose the two basses in the second lineup to create an extra challenge for me as a composer and arranger.”
Performance details are as follows:

The Jazz Gallery
1160 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, (646) 494-3625

8PM & 10PM, Friday, July 31
Ingrid Laubrock: soprano and tenor saxophones, composition, piano
Kris Davis: piano
Mary Halvorson: guitar

8PM & 10PM, Saturday, August 1
Ingrid Laubrock: soprano and tenor saxophones, composition,piano
Vincent Chancey: french horn, pandeiro
Eivind Opsvik: double bass
Michael Formanek: double bass
Tom Rainey: drums

Seattle Scene: July 9-31, 2015

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From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)
Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Earshot: Triptet + Bloom
Thu. July 9, 8:00 PM; $5 – $15 in advance

Earshot’s juried series, Jazz: The Second Century, presents Seattle artists, selected by a peer panel, performing original work, in a concert setting. Triptet features Tom Baker on guitar, Greg Campbell on drums, and Michael Monhart on saxophone. Bloom is a new, acoustic quartet led by trumpeter/composer Brennan Carter, with Levi Gillis on tenor sax, Mark Hunter on bass, and Jarred Katz on drums.

A Consecutive Sequence
Sat. July 11, 8:00 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

A Consecutive Sequence is drummer Dio Jean-Baptiste and saxophonist Bryan Lineberry. They borrow elements from EDM, hip-hop, math metal, Coltrane and Shepp with an emphasis on evolving sonic textures, injecting simple and thoughtful musical ideas into loosely improvised formats to bridge the gap between the uncharted and the inescapably enjoyable.

Seattle Composers’ Salon
Fri. July 10, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

The Seattle Composers’ Salon features finished works, previews, and works in progress by by regional composers and performers in a casual setting that allows for experimentation and discussion. Tonight, music by Keith Eisenbrey, Kam Morrill, Nadya Kadrevis, S. Eric Scribner.

THU.-SAT. 7/16-18 – Substrata 1.5 festival line-up confirmed. Three-day festival passes are sold out, but there are still tickets for some individual nights.

THU. 7/23 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: The Second Century, Bad Luck + Frank Kohl Trio + Citizens Band

FRI. 7/24 – Percussionist Mike Gebhart presents large ensemble improvisations inspired by Santeria

THU. 7/30 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: The Second Century, w/ Action Figure + Meridian Big Band

FRI. 7/31 – contrabass clarinet improvisations by Paul Hoskin and Arrington de Dionyso

AMN Site News

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Happy July everyone.  I’ve been taking a break for the last few days, relaxing, and catching up on my listening. I haven’t updated all of you with the “State of Avant Music News” in a while, so…

Reviews are moving along nicely.  We’re now averaging about 15-20 a month, give or take. Interviews are moving a bit more slowly, but we hope those will pick up as well. As always, I am very grateful to our reviewers who toil away at this labor of love to share their thoughts with us.

I am thrilled to report that AMN is getting more submissions from musicians, labels, and PR folks than ever. This reflects what I take as a healthy interest in our kind of music. The down side to this is that we cannot review every release that comes our way. We’re lucky to write a few words about every 15th or 20th. In fact, we rarely have time to respond at all or even acknowledge the receipt of these recordings.  If we did, we would not be doing much of anything else. So please accept our apologies in advance if you get nothing but a deafening silence after emailing us. It sucks, but rest assured that we do read all emails and messages, and we do try to listen to all submitted material.

Soon, possibly tomorrow, I’ll be releasing AMN’s “Best of 2015 (so far)” list of recordings. In the past, this has proven to be a popular and fun exercise, and we hope you enjoy it.


Mike (and the rest of AMN)

Midyear Jazz Report From Burning Ambulance

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Via Burning Ambulance:

2015 is half over, and so far it’s been a pretty impressive year for jazz. Here are 20 titles released between January and June that are worth listeners’ attention. Most of them venture closer to classic hard bop and post-bop sounds than to the fringes of the avant-garde (two of them, Terell Stafford‘s Brotherlee Love and Tim Warfield‘s Spherical, are explicit tributes to figures from jazz’s past, albeit ones that avoid the usual pitfalls of the “[Young(ish) Guy] Plays The Music Of [Dead Guy]” album), but nothing here is boring or rote. And of course, there are lots of other worthwhile releases out there right now. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Jazz ain’t goin’ nowhere.

AMN Reviews: Mural – Tempo [SOFA547]

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Houston’s Rothko Chapel—an austere room lit with natural light and dedicated to the display of fourteen of Mark Rothko’s late, subdued color field paintings—is a congenial site for improvised performances by the international trio Mural. The group, made up of Norwegian Kim Myhr on guitar; percussionist Ingar Zach, a Norwegian now living in Spain; and Australian Jim Denley on alto saxophone and flutes, has played there twice before the April 2013 date recorded and issued on this three-CD set. (A previous performance, from March 2010, was recorded and released in 2011 by the Rothko Chapel’s own publishing concern.)

Reflecting the immersive, contemplative atmosphere of the Chapel, Tempo captures the last three-quarters or so of Mural’s over four-hour-long continuous performance. Although each of the three discs can be listened to by itself, the music’s full effect and the group’s deftness at developing sonic textures over long cycles only becomes forcefully apparent when all three are heard in sequence during a single listening.

The release’s title says something essential about the music given not only its expansive duration but the way it sets out a concatenation of sound events coming into and going out of existence in time. Mural’s pacing and arrangement of sound into alternating fields and figures create a sense of musical time imagined as having been precipitated into a narrative sequence with all of its peaks and valleys, its alternations of episodes of activity and rest. Through subtle, largely timbral playing Mural collapses time into a single moment present in a low-frequency sound field extending in all directions; through more urgent, rhythmically driven sections—led by Myhr’s energetic pulse on guitar—the dynamic of time’s passage is made clear.

Throughout it all Myhr, Zach and Denley have an intuitive rapport that doesn’t lapse even over such a long period of playing. Zach’s bells, gongs, drums and pitched percussion are put to good coloristic use over the entire course of the performance; Denley’s sax and flutes can be plaintive, abrasive, abstract or voice-like as the moment requires. Myhr is a strong ensemble player who can, when needed, push the group with chordal ostinatos or an insistent, jangling strum just as easily has he can bind the music during its quieter passages.

Gapplegate Music Reviews

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From Gapplegate:

Francois Carrier, Unknowable, with Michel Lambert and Rafal Mazur
Andy Sheppard Quartet, Surrounded by Sea
Vicente / Marjamaki, Opacity
Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin, Nomadic