AMN Reviews: Max Johnson – The Prisoner (2014; No Business Records)


Max Johnson - The Prisoner - coverMax Johnson is a bassist and composer living in New York City. He plays in the avant-garde jazz & bluegrass scenes, and has performed throughout North America and Europe. We interviewed him last January, so feel free to check that out for more information.

On this effort, Johnson teams with New York stalwarts Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri, and Tomas Fujiwara. Despite the jazz leanings of the group, The Prisoner is perhaps best labeled as modern classical music. The interplay between Johnson and Maneri, especially, exhibits the kind of precision and delicacy one would expect from members of a string quartet. At times, the scratchiness and structural looseness of the tracks is reminiscent of Ligeti, Xenakis, or Nono.

For instance, No. 48 Living in Harmony starts with a bowed and plucked viola / bass segment, then Laubrock joins with an sax melody. All of this is backed up by Fujiwara’s busy and disjoint drumming. The sum, however, resembles a composition for three distinct sections: strings, brass and percussion. Thus, the analogy to classical.  One track with a jazz feel is X04, which starts with a bass and drum vamp, followed by viola and sax leads. But the majority of the album doesn’t overtly groove or swing.

This is a subtle and understated release. The Prisoner might not blow you away on the first, second, or fifth listen. But if you stick with it, you’ll soon discover its depth and character. A true grower, and one of the better releases of the year so far.

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5049 Records Podcast: Michaël Attias


From 5049 Records.

Michaël Attias is a tremendously talented saxophonist who was born in Israel, raised in Paris and has been living and working in New York City since 1994. He’s a thinker, a traveler and a questioner. To me, the New York that he moved to was the one to which I had hoped to move. He’s done and experienced a lot and this conversation is one of those rare ones where a lot gets exposed.

DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET Photos


From DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET:

July 13, 2014
Jesper Zeuthen, Jacob Anderskov, Jeppe Skovbakke, Rune Kielsgaard, 5e, Copenhagen
Jacob Anderskov Rune Kielsgaard Jeppe Skovbakke Jesper Zeuthen

July 13, 2014
Bushman’s Revenge with David Wallumrød & Kjetil Møster, Øksnehallen, Copenhagen
Even Helte Hermansen Kjetil Møster Rune Nergaard Gard Nilssen David Wallumrød

July 13, 2014
Nanchen 314 featuring Qarin Wikström, 5e, Copenhagen
Knut Finsrud Nana Pi Aabo Larsen Herman Müntzing Qarin Wikström

July 13, 2014
Thomas Morgan, Oliver Laumann, Emanuele Maniscalco, Lars Greve, Mellemrummet, Copenhagen
Lars Greve Oliver Laumann Emanuele Maniscalco Thomas Morgan

July 13, 2014
Asfour/Merrill Duo, Harbo Bar, Copenhagen
Ayman Asfour Daniel Merrill

July 13, 2014
S.A.L.I.G.A, PH Caféen, Copenhagen
Maria Dybbroe Rasmus Juncker Valdemar Kragelund Kristoffer Nybye

July 12, 2014
Tigers Mind, Mayhem, Copenhagen
Niklas Adam Danielle Dahl Thomas Eiler

July 12, 2014
Fjernsyn Fjernsyn, Mayhem, Copenhagen
Andreas Führer Johs Lund Toke Tietze Mortensen Tobias Fuglsang Mynborg

Taran’s Free Jazz Hour Podcast 22/2014


English: Japanese avant-garde jazz pianist and...

English: Japanese avant-garde jazz pianist and composer Satoko Fujii (藤井郷子) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Taran’s Free Jazz Hour:

Anne Waldman
Jaguar Harmonics: Anne Waldman, Text, Vo/ Devin Waldman, as/ Ha Yang Kim, Cello/ Daniel Carter, Tp, Cl, FL, Sax/ Ambrose Bye, Sounds

Brian Groder
Brian Groder Trio: Bg, Tp/ Mike Bisio, B/ Jay Rosen, Dr

Jacc Records
Fail Better: Marcelo Dos Reis, El Guitar/ Joao Guimaraes, as/ Jose Miguel Pereira, B/ Joao Pais Filipe, Dr/ Luis Vicente, Tp

Xisto: Marcelo Dos Reis, G, Vo, Singing Bowls/ Angelica V Salvi, Harp/ Nuno Torres, as/ M Carvalhais, Computer/ J P Filipe, Dr, per

Leo
Zubeneschamali: D Thompson, G/ Tom Jackson, Cl/ R Ramanan, Tp

Flowing Stream: T Buckner, Vo/ J Leandre, B/ N Mitchell, FL

Rattle
Zoo: T Dennison, B/ a Freer, Dr/ S Barry, P/ P Koopman Jr, G/ R Manins, Sax

Irony: K Field, P, Fender Rhodes/ Ron Samson, Dr/ Olivier Holland, B

Slam
Nick of Time: M Fletcher, as/ Olie Brice, B/ T Jozwiak, Dr

Rich Halley
the Wisdom of Rocks: Rich Halley, Ts/ M Vlatkovich, Tbn/ Clyde Reed, B/ Carson Halley, Dr

Libra
Gato Libre: Natsuki Tamura, Tp/ Yasuko Kaneko, Tbn/ Kazuhiko Tsumura, G/ Satoko Fujii, Acc

Whirlwind | Jc Sanford
Views from the Inside: J C Sanford Orchestra

Clean Feed New Releases


Pharoah Sanders

Cover of Pharoah Sanders

From Clean Feed:

CF’s 300 (Primitive Jupiter) and CF 301 (Spiral Mercury) Chicago/São Paulo Underground Feat. Pharoah Sanders Pharoah & The Underground – were recorded at the same Jazz em Agosto, Lisbon, show but there are different material on both as this was an extraordinary long concert.

CF 305 Baloni Belleke – is the follow up to the much acclaimed “Fremdenzimmer”. A trio of a rare sophistication and beauty.

CF 306 Joe Morris Quartet Balance – it’s the return of Joe’s mythical quartet with Mat Maneri, Chris Lightcap and Gerald Cleaver. One of the stronger bands in the nineties. Historical comeback indeed.

CF 307 Adam Lane´s Full Throttle Orchestra Live in Ljubljana – is part of the now legendary Ljubljana Series where the band played two years ago. Amazing music including some new compositions with great musical empathy, great playing, writing and live sound.

CF 308 Kullhammar / Aalberg / Zetterberg / Mathisen
Basement Sessions Vol.3 (The Ljubljana Tapes) – is also a Ljubljana recording from last year’s festival as the trio performed with Jorgen Mathisen as a guest. The recordings were made before the audience got in. Indeed an incredible set.

CF 309 Cortex Live! – is the first release on CF by the band that is now called as the “new Atomic” for the great mix of new ingredients added to the blue note sound of the 60′s just to simplify. The rest you can get it through your ears.

SHH 011 Joana Gama & Luís Fernandes Quest – Everything flows like Zen soundscapes in the inner world inside our heads, and the music has a poetic, lyrical dimension that makes us reconnect with the idea of Beauty of the Ancient Greeks.

AMN Reviews: Simao Costa – π_ANO PRE•CAU•TION PER•CU•SSION ON SHORT CIRCUIT [shh009CD]


Portuguese pianist/composer Simao Costa’s new CD explores the multiplicity of sounds available to a piano that has been prepared, electronically altered or supplemented, and even played in its native state.

The unifying theme that emerges from the seven tracks collected here is the richness of the contrasts that bind and separate the muted, low-sustain sounds of the prepared piano on the one hand, and the ringing tones and harmonies of the instrument unmodified on the other. Putting the two in motion with and against each other is something Costa does effectively throughout the set. Often, the music will take on the character of a gamelan or detuned carillon nested within resonantly pedaled left hand figures. On top of it, Costa will frequently layer in the acute hum of feedback and droning electronics. These timbral experiments are largely cerebral in affect, but surprisingly beautiful impressionistic passages are liable to erupt unexpectedly, particularly on the fourth and sixth tracks. The last and longest track shifts attention away from contrasts in timbre and resonance and focuses instead on the possibilities of rhythmic variations within a pulse, its deliberately narrow range of pitches wrapped in the buzzing and rattling sounds of distressed metal.

http://www.shhpuma.com