AMN Reviews: Jon Irabagon – Inaction is an Action (2015; Irabbagast Records)

Irabagon_Inaction_Is_An_Action_COVER_ARTJon Irabagon’s output covers a wide swathe, from standards-friendly jazz to the avant-creative side of that genre. Here, his focus is singular – blast as many weird sounds as possible from a sopranino saxophone.  Recorded in the act solo at the reverb-friendly Lakeview Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Inaction is an Action puts Irabagon on the map in a crowded field.

But how does Irabagon compare (if comparison is your thing) to solo sax greats such as Anthony Braxton, Jon Butcher, and Evan Parker? Quite well. Irabagon intrepidly leads us through eight explorations, featuring aural noise walls, squealing, drones, punchy staccato rhythms, overtones, and multiphonics. Often the instrument is almost irrelevant to Irabagon’s final product. The noises sound as if they were electronically manipulated, computer generated, or made by an angry swarm of bees collectively channeling Iannis Xenakis. On the tracks where the sax is clearly discernible, it is played in a tastefully rude manner.

Don’t be deceived by the pastoral cover artwork. This is extreme music. And don’t be deceived by the title. Irabagon is all action.

AMN Picks of the Week: Moon Zero / Animation / Treha Sektori / Mark Applebaum / Niescier, Jensson, McLemore

English: Hilmar Jensson, moers festival 2008

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Moon Zero – Moon Zero (2015)
Animation – Machine Language (2015)
Treha Sektori – The Sense of Dust and Sheer (2015)
Mark Applebaum – 30 (2015)
Angelika Niescier / Hilmar Jensson / Scott McLemore – Broken Cycle (2015)

Coming to Detroit

Source: Trinosophes.


Craig Taborn (Prezens, at the Vortex (London) ...

Saturday, Sept 12: Poetry and Jazz interface with George Tish book launch and performance by Craig Taborn

Doors 7 pm
Reading by George Tysh at 7:30 pm; free
Performance by Craig Taborn at 8:30 pm; $10-$20 suggested

2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Detroit poet George Tysh launches his new book, The Slip (from BlazeVOX) followed by a solo performance by ECM jazz master, pianist Craig Taborn, who is flying into Detroit specifically for this event.

Craig Taborn began working professionally in the 1990s in a variety of musical contexts, ranging from more straight-ahead jazz to more outside music, with young jazz musicians, seasoned veterans, and even techno artists. Before he graduated from the University of Michigan, he had already performed on three recordings as a member of the James Carter Quartet. In 1995, DIW released Taborn’s first date as a leader, The Craig Taborn Trio. He then moved to N.Y.C., and by the close of the ’90s, he performed on two more Carter releases; Roscoe Mitchell‘s 1999 ECM release, Nine To Get Ready; Detroiter Carl Craig’s techno-jazz project, Innerzone Orchestra; and Hugh Ragin’s Afternoon in Harlem. His second album, Light Made Lighter, was a piano trio date for Thirsty Ear in 2001. He has collaborated and recorded with the likes of Gerald Cleaver, William Parker, Dave Douglas, Bill Laswell, and Dave Holland, among many others. His first album of solo piano, Avenging Angel, was released in 2011 by ECM.

Swell, Ullman, Lonberg-Holm, Zerang
September 19

Thollem McDonas
October 1

The Thing, Soar Trio
October 3

New York’s Roulette in September

British saxophonist Evan Parker performing liv...

Source: Roulette.

[RESIDENCY] Mary Halvorson and Ches Smith: Solo Music A double bill of solo performances with Mary Halvorson and Ches Smith. Halvorson returns to Roulette to celebrate the release concert for her solo guitar record, Meltframe, on Firehouse 12 Records. …

THE BOOK BERIAH The World Premiere of new music from John Zorn’s Masada Book Three—The Book Beriah The World Premiere of new music from John Zorn’s Masada Book Three—THE BOOK BERIAH

Resonant Bodies Festival 2015 Finale: Jeff Gavett, Kate Soper, and Rachel Calloway The closing night of the 2015 Resonant Bodies Festival will feature three dynamic and virtuosic vocalists: Jeffrey Gavett, Kate Soper, and Rachel Calloway….

Kol Nidre with Rabbi Dan Ain and The Sway Machinery’s Jeremiah Lockwood

Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Sylvie Courvoisier, Mark Feldman Virtuosos of their instruments and masters of improvisation, Evan Parker (sax), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Mark Feldman (violin) and Ikue Mori (electronics) make a rare appearance in this special quartet project and will be celebrating the first recording of the quartet this fall….

Anthony Coleman: 60th Birthday Concert Composer + improviser Anthony Coleman looks back at his incredible opportunities to collaborate with some amazing individuals and ensembles since his return to New York 35 years ago. With so many influences and collaborators, one concert is not enough to do it all justice. For this special evening, Coleman will be presenting his most recent works in celebration of his 60th Birthday….

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
Robert Browning Associates: DASTAN ENSEMBLE & MAHDIEH MOHAMMADKHANI Persian Music Dastan, one of Iran’s most celebrated ensembles, is joined by Mahdieh Mohammadkhani, a young singer who has gained much attention in recent years for her entrancing renditions of contemporary and traditional Persian music. …

The Thing The Thing keeps taking the music to new, uncompromising levels and continues to solidify their important position in the contemporary independent music world….

[RESIDENCY] New Works by Gelsey Bell and Bell/ Frasconi/ Schrey Trio The first performance of improvised music by a new trio made up of Gelsey Bell (voice), Miguel Frasconi (glass and electronics), and Cleek Schrey (hardanger fiddle)….

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

English: Paul Lytton in concert with Ken Vande...

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Jason Roebke – Every Sunday (Clean Feed, 2015) ****
Spring Heel Jack with Pat Thomas, Alex Ward and Paul Lytton – Live in Antwerp (Treader, 2014) ****
Brett Higgins – Atlas Revolt (Tzadik, 2015) ***½
Caterina Palazzi SudoKu KilleR – Infanticide (Auand Records, 2015) ****
Signe Bisgaard – Meander (Finland Studio Records, 2015) ****½
Nick Fraser feat. Kris Davis & Tony Malaby – Too Many Continents (Clean Feed, 2015) *****
Joshua Abrams – Magnetoception (Eremite, 2015) ****½
Ozo – A Kind Of Zo (Shhpuma, 2015) ****½

Upcoming Daniel Levin Concerts

Source: Daniel Levin.

Daniel Levin Quartet CD Release Concert at Cornelia Street Cafe
September 9, 8:30pm, Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC
I started this quartet in 2001, and our first release, “Don’t Go It Alone”, came out in 2003. In July, our seventh record, “Friction”, was released on Clean Feed.

Trio with Jon Irabagon and Brandon Lopez
September 15, 10:30pm, Korzo, 667 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
This is a new project. Jon and I were sharing the bill this summer at Elastic in Chicago, and we talked about setting up a situation for us to play together. Brandon is someone I have been working with a bunch lately, and I’m really looking forward to the music we’ll make at Korzo.

Trio with Juan Pablo Carletti and Brandon Lopez
September 21, 4:00pm, Children’s Magical Garden, Norfolk St. and Stanton St., NYC
Juan Pablo and I have been working as a duo for a few years, and released a CD earlier this year called “Illusion of Truth”, which can be found on OutNow Records. For this concert, we’re adding Brandon Lopez’ bass to the mix. This concert is part of the Concerts for Sandra Bland series.

Duo with Chris Pitsiokos
September 21, 6:00pm, Downtown Music Gallery, 13 Monroe Street, NYC
Saxophone vs. cello, who will win? Chris and I excited to roll up our sleeves and have at it. Here’s a link to Chris’ website. He is a badass.

New Releases from Subtext Recordings

Source: Subtext Recordings.


Emptyset present a live recording of their performance project Signal, which explores the effects of atmospheric propagation and transmitted sound.

Developed over the course of 2014, the performance took place in Berlin on February 1st 2015. The project worked with long distance high frequency radio transmission in order to bounce audio composed of sine wave structures across the atmosphere, in a process that ornamented and shaped the signal in accordance with physical fluctuations in the ionosphere, atmospheric noise and solar radiation patterns.

The signal path for the performance transmitted the audio across a real-time 2000km circuit, routed from Berlin to Nauen 40km west of the city, where it was transmitted from the oldest operational transmission station in the world, received by the 1950’s French radio base Émetteur d’Issoudun and from there retransmitted and received at the performance space in Berlin. The multiple atmospheric bounces imprinted into the audio introduced complex transformations of sound.

The recording presents two excerpts from the live performance commissioned with support from Deutschlandradio and CTM. Signal will be released on Subtext Recordings on the 11th of September, both on vinyl and digitally.


The first self titled album from Emptyset is reissued. Released in 2009 the material formed the initial departure within Emptyset’s ongoing exploration of time, structure and analogue technology. The album highlights the projects development and the foundation of their studio based production process, forming the first part of a tryptic spanning across Demiurge, released in 2010 with Subtext and the 2013 raster-noton album Recur. The eponymous debut creates the first point within this narrative, initiating a dialogue between full frequency audio, noise and the emergent properties of sound, and the starting point for their contained sonic approach.

The album re-issue will be available on vinyl and digitally on the 28th of August 2015.

Yair Elazar Glotman

Classically trained composer and contrabass player expands on his work with James Ginzburg on “Nimbes” and his analog tape work as KETEV (Opal Tapes, Where to Now?) with a record exploring the hidden resonances of the contrabass.

Yair Elazar Glotman’s Études disrupts the subconscious processes and muscle memory learned as a classical contrabass player to interrogate his instrument, drawing out hidden resonances, physical vibrations, and explorations of uncharted territory of the instrument’s acoustic dynamic range. Within the ten pieces presented here, each a solo performance, he looks to develop a black box scenario for composition. Creating a separation between action and outcome, he escapes learned restraint, abandons former training, and develops a method by which concentration and control are translated into a visceral interaction with the bass, uncovering hidden sounds and building an expansive and dynamic sonic palette for the contrabass, beyond the confines of classical virtuosity.