AMN Reviews: Jeff Cosgrove – Alternating Currents [Grizzley Music]

a3021864462_2Alternating Currents is drummer Jeff Cosgrove’s interpretation of one of jazz’s most basic and versatile units: the piano trio. Joined by bassist William Parker and pianist Matthew Shipp, Cosgrove blends the give-and-take of the trio format with the conversational tradition of free improvisation.

As would be expected from these players, the interactions are solidly grounded in attentive listening and nimble response. Each of the three tracks—two improvisations and the Paul Motian composition Victoria—coheres by virtue of the thematic and rhythmic structures the musicians deftly create in real time. The first piece, a nearly 40-minute long exploration of theme and free variation, is built around an opening melody played on the tom toms, which mutates, develops, dissolves and reappears in different guises as it gets picked up and passed around. On the title track Shipp builds an elaborate structure out of Parker’s initial bowed chording; Cosgrove’s brushwork propels the music along a rapid course in open time. After the first two tracks, Victoria at under 6 minutes long feels like a brief coda, its rubato impressionism the product of Shipp’s exploratory interpretation of the melody matched to Parker’s restless basslines and Cosgrove’s sensitive drumming.

AMN Best of 2014 (So Far)

We are half-way through 2014, and therefore it is a good time to revisit some of the best releases that have come to my attention so far this year. Of course it is important to keep in mind that there are plenty of releases I’ve yet to hear, so this list is far from comprehensive.

For each of the releases that we’ve reviewed, a link is included.

The best so far:

Led Bib – The Good Egg
Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope
Jack O’ The Clock – Night Loops
Peter Kerlin Octet – Salamander
Thumbscrew (Halvorson / Formanek / Fujiwara) – Thumbscrew
Touch and Go Sextet – Live at the Novara Jazz Festival
Dan Weiss – Fourteen

Excellent releases:

Sam Boshnack / Quintet – Exploding Syndrome
Tom Carter & Pat Murano – Four Infernal Rivers
Chicago Underground Duo – Locus
D.C. Improvisers Collective – In the Gloam of the Anthropocene
Barry Guy New Orchestra – Amphi / Radio Rondo
Ross Hammond – Humanity Suite
Otavan Veret – Otavan Veret
Reconnaissance Fly – Flower Futures
Peter Van Zandt Lane – HackPolitik

English: Nels Cline @ All tomorrow's parties f...

Honorable Mentions:

2TE Freund, Der – Sub Divo
After the Rain – The Night Must Fall
Aram Bajakian – There Were Flowers Also in Hell
Guy Barash – Facts About Water
Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy – eCsTaSy
Black Dirt Oak – Wawayanda Patent
Philip Blackburn – Music of Shadows
Tyler Blanton –  Gotham
Jaap Blonk  /Sandy Ewen /Damon Smith/Chris Cogburn – North of Blanco
Brute Force – Brute Force
Chris Campbell – Things You Already Know
Jeff Cosgrove  / Matthew Shipp / William Parker – Alternating Current
Anthony Davis – Notes from the Underground
Kris Davis – Massive Threads
Deadwood – Sheolic
Djam Karet – Regenerator 3017
Pierre Dorge  / Torben Westergaard / Tyshawn Sorey – Like Salamanders We Survive
Mark Dresser  / Gerry Hemingway / Assif Tsahar – Code Re(a)d
Peter Epstein Quartet – Polarities
André Foisy –  The End of History
Gauci / Knuffke / Filiano – Chasing Tales
Ben Goldberg / Adam Levy / Smith Dobson – Worry Later
Rich Halley / 4 – The Wisdom of Rocks
Michael Hersch / Blair String Quartet – Images from a Closed Ward
Ideal Bread – Beating the Teens
In Slaughter Natives – Cannula Coma Legio
Indigo Mist (Cuong Vu / Richard Karpen) – That The Days Go By And Never Come Back
Jon Irabagon / Mark Helias / Barry Altschul – It Takes All Kinds
Max Johnson – The Prisoner
Max Johnson Trio – The Invisible Trio
Keith Kelly – The People Who Left
Igor Krutogolov / Karate Band – How to be a Crocodile
Helmut Lachenmann / JACK Quartet – Complete String Quartets
Dominic Lash Quartet – Opabinia
Led Bib – The People in Your Neighbourhood
Locrian – The Crystal World
Chris Lynn  / Daniel Barbiero – Augmented Landscapes
David MacBride – A Special Light
Machine Mass / Dave Liebman – Inti
Marsen Jules (Martin Juhls) – Beautyfear
Ryan McGuire –  Civilian
Medeski, Martin & Wood / Nels Cline – Woodstock Sessions (Vol. 2)
Mesektet – Towards a Bleak Sun
Szilárd Mezei / International Improvisers Ensemble – Karszt
Nicole Mitchell / Black Earth Ensemble – Xenogenesis II: Intergalactic Beings
N.E.W. (Steve Noble, John Edwards, Alex Ward) – Motion
Keir Neuringer – Ceremonies Out of the Air
Adriano Orru – Palimpsest
Ed Palermo Big Band – Oh No! Not Jazz!!
Richard Pinhas / Tatsuya Yoshida – Welcome in the Void
Reutoff & Sal Solaris – Eigengrau
Eric Revis – In Memory of Things Yet Seen
Jason Roebke – Combination
Rent Romus / Lords of the Outland – The Proceedings of Dr. Ke
Daniel Rosenboom Quintet – Fire Keeper
Jonathan Rowden Group – Becoming
JC Sanford Orchestra – Views from the Inside
Sax Ruins – Blimmguass
Shrine – Nihil
Sonar – Static Motion
Marco Stroppa – Upon a Blade of Grass
Treha Sektori – Severh Sehenh
Wolvserpent – Perigea Antahkarana
Jack Wright / Ben Wright – As If Anything Could be the Same

New Releases from Edgetone Records

English: Rent Romus performing at the San Fran...
Rent Romus

From Edgetone Records:

Drew Ceccato, Adam Tinkle – Eidolon

A numberless array of nameless, chordal sounds and spectral potentialities reside in the misuse of the saxophone’s well-oiled mechanics. Adam Tinkle and Drew Ceccato have gradually built their duo music out of a shared interest in these multiphonic capabilities of the instrument hanging on to their own internal chords, exploring the emergent harmonies between two misbehaving air columns in turbulent flow.
Drew Ceccato – tenor and baritone saxophones Adam Tinkle – alto saxophone

Rent Romus‘ Life’s Blood Ensemble – Cimmerian Crossroads

The third album from Rent Romus and the Life’s Blood Ensemble features original music by saxophonist Rent Romus as well as compositions from Arthur Blythe, Ornette Coleman, bassist Bill Noertker, and pianist Brett Carson. Cimmerian Crossroads explore the subtle boarders of style and element within jazz and improvisation as well as a dedication and tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the music.
Kim Cass – double bass Markus Hunt – double bass Timothy Orr – drums Rent Romus – alto, soprano saxophones

TheeAnnoying – The Empty Set

Recorded over 2011 & 2012 at Mills College, our practice spot & bathroom. Each song’s first track is live and attempts to capitalize on the ambiance of different rooms. From that point on, we overdubbed using sounds recorded in a room that had the opposite size and shape.
Ten Ticklish Ants – noisy guitar walls and vocals M. Mersereau – bass, vocals and samples D.A. Leech – electric & analog percussion, piano

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

Steve Lacy
Cover of Steve Lacy

From Free Jazz:

People – 3x a Woman: The Misplaced Files (Telegraph Harp, 2014) ***½
Peter Van Huffel – Boom Crane (Fresh Sound / New Talent Records, 2014) ****½
Ideal Bread – Beating the Teens: The Songs of Steve Lacy (Cuneiform, 2014) *****
Jason Roebke – Combination‏ (bandcamp, 2014) ***
Lean Left – Live at Area Sismica (Unsounds, 2014) ****½
Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter – untitled (UgEXPLODE, 2012) ****

Editions Mego Releases

Arne Deforce
Arne Deforce (Photo credit: Z33 art centre, Hasselt)

New offerings from Editions Mego:

Edvard Graham Lewis: all over
Various Artists: Traces Three
Goodiepal: Morendo Morendo – My Paris Is Called Colchester
Thought Broadcast: Votive Zero
Angel: Terra Null.
Russell Haswell &Amp; Pain Jerk: Electroacoustic Sludge Dither Transformation […]
Lcc: D/evolution
Arne Deforce &Amp; Mika Vainio: Hephaestus
Philipp Quehenberger: Content

Rune Grammofon announces 128-page book dedicated to free jazz

From Tiny Mix Tapes:

Rune Grammofon has just announced Free Jazz And Improvisation On Vinyl 1965-1985, a 128-page overview of 60 independent labels and their releases of free jazz during that period. It’s a time frame that more or less ends with the advent of the CD, with freelance art historian (and author of Free Jazz) Johannes Rød surely appreciating the benefits of a narrowed but in-depth focus.