Free Jazz Blog Reviews

British saxophonist Evan Parker
Evan Parker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Free Jazz:

Ifa Y Xango Tentet – Twice Left Handed \\ Shavings (El Negocito, 2015) ****
Soft Machine – Switzerland 1974 (Cuneiform, 2015) ****
Hugh Hopper – Memories (Gonzo Media, 2014) ****
Nuiversum – Ballads of Now & When (Repeat Until Death, 2015) *****
Schlippenbach Trio – First Recordings (Trost, 2014) *****
John Escreet – Sound, Space and Structures (Sunnyside, 2014) ****
Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Septet – Seven (Victo, 2014) ****½

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Tomasz Stańko Profiled

Tomasz Stańko, polish jazz trumpeter
Tomasz Stańko

From Culture.pl:

Tomasz Stańko is by far the most accomplished Polish jazz musician. Throughout his incredible career he has recorded cult albums, been present for years in the top ten of Downbeat’s annual critics poll, and despite being an active musician for over 50 years, he shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. In spite of being the jazz giant of our times, he also has an incredibly interesting and controversial personality.

37th Chicago Jazz Festival Heavy on the AACM

No surprises, as the Chicago Jazz Festival honors 50 years of the AACM. Highlights of the fest include:

SEPTEMBER 3, 2015
AACM at 50: THE EXPERIMENTAL BAND (MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS, HENRY THREADGILL, WALLACE MCMILLAN, WADADA LEO SMITH, AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS, GEORGE LEWIS, LEONARD JONES, THURMAN BARKER, REGGIE NICHOLSON)

SEPTEMBER 4, 2015
BILLY STRAYHORN CENTENARY CELEBRATION: CHICAGO JAZZ ORCHESTRA Performs New Arrangements of Strayhorn’s Classic Repertoire; Guest Arrangers Include JOHN HOLLENBECK, TOM GARLING, EDWARD WILKERSON, STEVEN BERNSTEIN & More To Be Announced

One of the most important contributions the city of Chicago made to 20th century American music was the formation of an organization called the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founded on principles of creativity, collective organization, unyielding creativity and not beholden to any one style of music. The year 2015 is the 50th anniversary of the AACM. Thus throughout the year, a number of celebrations of this milestone will go on in Chicago and beyond. During the 37th Chicago Jazz Festival and the months leading up to it, the AACM will be particularly highlighted.

Now Hear This Festival of New Music in Edmonton This Weekend

From New Music Edmonton:

Now Hear This Festival of New Music
Featuring the Music Of György Ligeti
Friday March 20 – Sunday March 22, 2015
Holy Trinity Anglican Church (10037 84 ave, Edmonton)

New Music Edmonton is proud to announce Now Hear This 2015…
Featured is the 20th Century avant-garde Romanian composer György Ligeti; several works will be performed, many of them receiving their first-ever Edmonton performance…

Guest ensembles and Edmonton favourites Pro Coro Canada, the WindRose Trio and Duo Majoya will offer our audiences spectacular works by Ligeti along with premieres and recent compositions gathered from across Canada and the world. Contempo, the University of Alberta’s contemporary music ensemble, will kick off our festival on Friday with a selection of works including Ligeti’s infamous Poéme Symphonique for 100 metronomes! Two concerts will feature New Music Edmonton’s own Violet Collective, a group of some of Edmonton’s most accomplished musicians, now in their second season. They will offer audiences a rare opportunity to hear recent works for ensemble and electronics – all Edmonton premieres. Capping off the festival, the Violet Collective will give a performance of Ligeti’s incredible Chamber Concerto.

Friday and Saturday will end with late-night performances of electronic and improvised music; New Music Edmonton will also host free talks and workshops, social events and a wonderful opportunity to meet old and new friends.

AMN Reviews: Gábor Lázár – ILS (Presto!?) & Yvan Etienne – Feu (Aposiopèse)

GaborLazar-ILS-2Presenting ILS, Gábor Lázár writes that the eleven pieces “have been composed on one note without transposition focusing on spectral changes and avoiding the traditional temporal measurements using additive synthesis. The interface works with tester algorithms based on simple mathematical operations which help in the compositional decision-making and trigger different temporal and spectral musical events run by a unique timeline”.

No, I don´t really understand, either. But what Lázár´s daunting parameters do to that one note is an act of aesthetic violence. It goes thwack thwack thwack. It smacks you around, maybe for your own good. Some unrelenting Sadean aesthetic-philosophical torture, self-centered and ferociously unambiguous. After imposing themselves on you, Budapest-based Lázár´s eleven short (but long enough!) pieces grow on you, and you hear the extremely attractive acoustics couched in that high concept. And although so utterly hardwired, actually sounds very woody. A new kind of kinetic sculpture. All one note. You´ve never heard anything quite like it.

http://www.prestorecords.com/casa.html

a3103935968_2In contrast, Yvan Etienne´s debut release Feu (Aposiopèse) is far more conventional noise. From Mulhouse in France, Etienne has played with the likes of Phill Niblock and Paul Panhuysen, edits the “oh cet echo” collection of the very-interesting looking Les presses du réel, and selects from a tool chest of electronics, phonography, analogue synthesizers and the hurdy-gurdy, as appropriate to his ongoing preoccupation with the physicality of sound.

The stippled waves of static on “Une Nuit” could be the wind, could be the heart of a blazing inferno, could be the beady snow blasting across a frozen lake. Sowing the whirlwind, he begins reaping a hard rain of tin cans and broken bits of copper wiring, until it begins grabbing at maverick radio waves in the air of “De La Change”. All this cakes into a high, violin-torturing tone and then pure tinnitus. A dramatic shift nearly halfway through this twenty-minute roaratorio brings us back to the windy plains and burning bushes. And slowly, the batteries run out. Riding on a grain of sand, we are swept far away from the maelstrom. “La Lueur” (the glow) is a swarm of locusts balled up and juggled. It picks up the same kind of unhealthy sounds the second track did but redemptively; here we finally hear the hurdy-gurdy, churning itself out of the mass. An extended, bagpipian drone exclamation point.

http://www.aposiopese.com/

Stephen Fruitman

Utech Records Music Festival III in Milwaukee

From Utech Records:

Utech Records Music Festival III
Milwaukee WI
June 12-13, 2015

The third Utech Records Music Festival is scheduled for June 12-13, 2015 at Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., Rushmor Records and Cactus Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Curated by Keith Utech, the festival brings together performances from label artists and friends over two days at three venues. The fest will mark the final action celebrating Utech Records’ ten-year anniversary.

In addition to a lineup of internationally renowned experimental musicians, attendees will be able to purchase a new LP release by Frank Rosaly, a special screen print by Milwaukee artist Josh Howard and festival-only releases from Dead Neanderthals with Sten Ove Toft, Burning Tree, Markerlight and Insect Ark.

Milwaukee radio station WMSE and Rushmor Records will co-sponsor this event with support from Pabst Brewing Co., Solid State Tattoo, Orchard Street Press and Stumptown Printers.

The bill includes Cetacea (CA), Trevor De Brauw (US), Dave Rempis + Steven Hess (US), Burning Tree (NO), André Foisy + Jacob Essak (US), Dead Neanderthals (NL), Sten Ove Toft (NO), Frank Rosaly (US), Gates (CA), Insect Ark (US), Markerlight (US).
The fest will be Gates’ only midwest appearance and the live debut from Markerlight.

June 12, 2015 / 8:00 PM
Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.
224 W. Bruce St.
Milwaukee WI 53204
414-276-8081
$15
Cetacea (CA)
Trevor De Brauw (US)
Dave Rempis + Steven Hess (US)

June 13, 2015 / 1:00 PM
Rushmor Records
2635 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Milwaukee WI 53207
414-481-6040
FREE performances from select fest artists.

June 13, 2015 / 8:00 PM
Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Ave.
Milwaukee WI 53207
414-897-0663
$25
Burning Tree (NO)
André Foisy + Jacob Essak (US)
Dead Neanderthals (NL)
Sten Ove Toft (NO)
Frank Rosaly (US)
Gates (CA)
Insect Ark (US)
Markerlight (US)