Source: Taran’s Free Jazz Hour.
Mathew Fries Solo Piano
the Path: Boris Kovac New Ritual Group
Escape Lane: Marquis Hill, Tpt/ Jeff Parker, G/ Joachim Florent, B/ Denis Fournier, Dr
April: Jihye Lee Orchestra
Le Ravageurs: Edoardo Marraffa, Ts, Sop Sax/ Nicola Guazzaloca, P
Invisible Hand: Satoko Fujii, P
Duo: Anthony Braxton, Saxes/ Miya Masaoka, 21 String Koto
Kalamania: Michel Edelin’s Flute Fever Mania
Unleashed: Myra Melford, P/ Jelle Léandre, B/ Nicole Mitchell, FL
Heads Or Tails: Hamid Drake, Dr/ Sylvain Kassap, Clarinets
Life on the Edge: Leo Speyer’s Inner Space
Source: Experimental Intermedia.
Electroacoustic Works by Dan Joseph on XI Records, 2 CD release
Ulrich Krieger – RAW:ReSpace
Michael Vincent Waller – The South Shore
Charlie Morrow – Toot!
David First – Privacy Issues
Thinking Plague is the quintessential progressive rock band. This means that they do not sound similar to just about any other outfit that falls under that loose moniker. With each release, they move even further from their initial sound, which had a flavor not unlike that of the Art Bears. Here, on their eighth album in 35 years, group leader and guitarist Mike Johnson is joined by longtime collaborators Mark Harris on sax and clarinets, and Dave Willey on bass and accordion. Rounding out the group on this go-around are vocalist Elaine di Falco, drummer Robin Chestnut, and guitarist Bill Pohl.
Regardless of lineup, what makes Thinking Plague tick is Johnson’s compositions. Writing for the first time for two guitarists, he juxtaposed his own angular style with occasional rock pyrotechnics from Pohl. But overall, the tracks on Hoping Against Hope are dense, knotty, contrapuntal offerings. Not exactly chamber rock, they borrow from jazz but fall outside of that genre. Johnson’s lines are tight and intertwined, as he exhibits control over each member without making their recitations appear rote. They pull apart and come together with ease, and even feature a few fleeting free-form moments.
Notably, the phrasings are so odd as times that the contributions of the individual instruments in isolation can sound outright alien. This is particularly the case with di Falco’s vocals, swooping and diving through registers. Nonetheless, this is not necessarily any different from how Johnson wrote for his other vocalists.
It would be hard to point to any one particular track of the six on this album as necessarily standing out amongst the rest. Compositionally, Hoping Against Hope holds together as a unit. There is so much intellectually-challenging content to unpack, that I could probably come back in a few years and write a totally different review. Not only is this a superb album, it may very well be the best album from a group that has made a number of superb albums. Bravo.
Trumpeter Jaimie Branch is well-known within the New York and Chicago creative music scenes as a collaborator. Her efforts include sessions with William Parker, Matana Roberts, Jason Ajemian, and many others. On this, her debut recording as a leader, she provides 35 minutes of improvisation, some free, some not. She teams with Tomeka Reid on cello, Ajemian on bass, Chad Taylor on drums, with guests Matt Schneider on guitar, as well as Ben Lamar Gay and Josh Berman on cornet.
In addition to landing in multiple places on the composed-to-unstructured spectrum, Branch’s works also span various levels of atmospherics. As an example, the aptly-titled theme 002 is a catchy, bass-driven vamp with Branch providing a distinct melody. On the other hand, leaves of glass features a pre-conceived, echoing motif followed by the horn players, leaving space between notes at first but then is filled with cello and bass explorations. That track is followed by the storm, which features generous portions of glissando and hushed extemporization. And to drive home the point of how diverse Branch’s approach can be, the album kicks off with a 15-second extended technique trumpet piece, not unlike what one might expect from Nate Wooley.
Fly of Die has a live-in-the-studio feel lending it a sense of urgency and integrity. Ultimately, the album is an evolution of sorts, from structure to freedom, then back to structure. Branch and her compatriots navigate this shifting landscape with skill and ease, of course.
Source: Downtown Music Gallery.
John Zorn’s Final Book of Angels: Volume 31: Brian Marsella Trio & Complete ‘Book of Angels’ Sale! JR3: Olaf Rupp / Rudi Mahall / Jan Roder! Thollem McDonas & Rob Mazurek! Dave PEK’s Chicxulub Trio! New from Sunnyside: Mike McGinnis / Art Lande / Steve Swallow! Kurt Rosenwinkel & Eric Clapton! Rebecca Martin & Guillermo Klein! Enrico Pieranunzi & Bruno Canino!
Plus Archival Discs from Miles Davis Sextet – Fillmore West, 1970! Bill Evans / Scott LaFaro / Paul Motian Trio 1960! Albert King & Dickie Betts! Rare LPs from Don Cherry / Karl Berger Quartet – 1967! Pierre Henry’s ‘Maléfices’! Bert Jansch! Ken Ikeda & David Toop! More and more!
The FREE DMG Weekly New Music In-Store Series Continues on Sundays with:
Sunday, April 23rd:
6pm: J. A. GRANELLI & MR. LUCKY TRIO with: J.A GRANELLI – Piccolo Bass, Lap Steel Guitar / NATE SHAW – Keyboards / OWEN HOWARD – Drums
Sunday, April 30th:
6pm: NO SIGNAL: AARON NOVIK & JEREMIAH CYMERMAN – Clarinets and AVA MENDOZA & BRANDON SEABROOK – Guitars!
&pm: GUILLERMO GREGORIO / VINCENT CHANCEY / BRANDON LOPEZ –
Clarinet / French Horn / ContraBass
Sunday, May 7th:
6pm; BEN STAPP & ELIJAH SHIFFER – Tuba and Sax & Clarinet
7pm: CATHERINE SIKORA & BRIAN CHASE – Tenor Sax and Drums
Sunday, May 14th:
6pm: ALEC HARPER & TYLER GILMORE