Matthew Shipp Chamber Ensemble – The Gospel According to Matthew and Michael (2015)
Gaps and Spaces [Greg Ward + Caleb Willitz] – Synoptic Optiks (2015)
The Thing – Garage (2004; 2015 vinyl reissue) Anthony Braxton – Trio and Duet (1974; 2015 expanded reissue)
Lourdes Rebels – Snuff Safari
Mastery – VALIS
Steinbrüchel – Parallel Landscapes
Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses – Maelstrom
Dead Body Collection – Witch’s Ashes Scattered By The Wind
Otomo Hava – Blue Velvet: Volume Five
D.S.W.A.C.V – Gaze Upon Suól
Primitive Man – Home Is Where the Hatred Is
Big Plastic Finger – Up From Under
Silently, the musicians in the Chicago-born Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) stand and face east before a single note is expressed. This, according to Muhal Richard Abrams, the Association’s co-founder, is because all life originates in the east. If any evil energies exist in a performance space, the musicians must wear war paint and masks for protection. This tradition has characterized AACM presentations since 1965.
This past weekend, Cornelia Street Cafe hosted two significant record release concerts. On Friday, guitarist Mary Halvorson and bassist Stephan Crump teamed up with their Secret Keeper project to debut their second record, Emerge (Intakt). On Saturday, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up (including Halvorson, Jonathan Finlayson, Brian Settles, and Michael Formanek) debuted their third record, After All Is Said (482 Music). Both records deserve critical attention.
More than any other Detroit jazz export of his generation, drummer Gerald Cleaver has earned his reputation on the cutting edge. The secret to his originality? Well, the first thing he will tell you is that he’s not trying to do anything new.
To put it another way, Cleaver sees the big picture, and he’s interested in everything except novelty.
“I’m just continuing in my personal fashion with what I grew up with,” said the 51-year-old drummer. “I think that’s all anybody really does. No matter what I’m playing, I’m looking for a connection to infinity. I think getting preoccupied with creating something new handicaps you from actually doing it.”