AMN Capsule Reviews: Kohoutek / McManus and Hebert / Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker

We receive many review requests. In order to increase the amount of material we cover, capsule reviews are short reflections on recent releases of note.


Kohoutek – Curious Aroma (2015; MIE)

With a name like Kohoutek, one immediately thinks of Sun Ra and space music. This Washington D.C. based group falls squarely into the domain of the latter. The album consists of two tracks, 18 and 24 minutes respectively, both the result of studio improv. Drawing on a Krautrock vibe, the first track features atmospherics with quiet electronics and found object percussion providing a base layer for picked electric guitar.  The second piece adds another guitar and slowly builds to a jam session featuring a drum kit and dueling fuzzed-out guitars. Electronics and effects take a secondary role. An interesting release, reminiscent of Ash Ra Temple, with more than a hint of British psychedelia.

Saints and Sinner front scanTerrence McManus and John Hebert – Saints and Sinners (2015)

Guitarist McManus and bassist Hebert are well-traveled in the New York creative improv scene, the former of the Gerry Hemingway Quintet, Kermit Driscoll group, and Herb Robertson, the latter of the Fred Hersch Trio, Uri Caine Trio, and Andrew Hill. This is their debut as a duo, a release that covers quite a bit of ground. McManus’s playing has some similarities to the cleanly-picked outside lines of Joe Morris, but with less overt aggression. Whether plucking or bowing, Hebert is up and down the bass. As a result, the listener is never quite sure where the next note is going to come from, nor the direction that each piece will take. A representative track is It’s Always Something, where Hebert takes the lead and McManus provides delay-driven atmospherics until the bass settles into an ending drone.

coverMachinefabriek with Anne Bakker – Deining (2015; Bandcamp)

The process used for making the 26-minute drone-based effort is almost as interesting as the music itself. As stated by the artists, violinist Anne Bakker bowed “each string of her instrument while sliding slowly from the lowest note to the highest, in exactly 5 minutes.” Then this process was repeated in reverse. As a result, Deining has four discernible parts, one for each string, though these parts run together. After layering the violin tracks, electronic processing took place to add synthetic drones, waves, and effects.  Needless to say, the slowly-evolving pitches bring a certain amount of sustained tension to the recording, which is not released until about one minute remains.  At that point, a low-volume interlude of structured static concludes the album.

577 Records Forward Festival Schedule

Steve Dalachinsky

Source: 577 Records Forward Festival


Sat Dec 12th
6:30pm “The First Third” Todd Capp (drums), Stephen Gauci (saxophone), Reuben Radding (bass)
7:15pm Eri Yamamoto (piano)
7:45pm “Federico Ughi Quartet” David Schnug (saxophone), Mike Irwin (trumpet), Jeff Snyder (electronics), Federico Ughi (drums)
8:45 pm Steve Dalachinsky (poetry)
9:15pm Daniel Carter (winds, piano), William Parker (bass), Federico Ughi (drums)

Sun Dec 13th
7:00pm “David Schnug Trio” David Schnug (saxophone), Zach Swanson (bass), Max Goldman (drums)
7:45pm Steve Swell (trombone)
8:15pm “EXTRA MOON” Daniel Carter (winds), Connie Crothers (piano), Adam Caine (guitar), Federico Ughi (drums)
9:15pm G. Calvin Weston (drums) and Lucas Brode (guitar) “Flying Kites” album release concert

Mon Dec 14th
7:30pm Gabriele Meirano (China/UK) (piano) and Federico Ughi (drums) “Coordinate Orientali” album release concert
8:15pm Daniel Carter (winds), Matthew Putman (piano), Federico Ughi (drums)
9:15pm James Brandon Lewis (saxophone) and Chad Taylor (drums)
10:15pm “The Listening Group” Daniel Carter (winds), Kyungmi Lee (flute), Claire de Brunner (bassoon), Stelios Michas (guitar), Jonah Rosenberg (piano), Zach Swanson (bass) and others

Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Facebook event page

For tickets and more information please visit or call (718) 577-1218.

Wadada Leo Smith and Douglas Ewart in New York, December 10

Source: Interpretations.

AACM50: Wadada Leo Smith //
Douglas R. Ewart & Quasar
Thursday December 10, 2015, 8pm

Interpretations salutes the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians on its 50th Anniversary. Composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presents two new works: “String Quartet No. 6 Taif: Prayer in the Garden of the Hijaz”, for string quartet, vibraphone, and trumpet, and “Henry David Thoreau Civil Disobedience: 1849, Six Ideas”, for strings, percussion, piano, celesta, and voice, featuring the Thurman Barker, Thomas Buckner, Michel Gentile, Joseph Kubera, Amina Claudine Myers, Miriam Parker, & The Secret Quartet (Cornelius Dufallo, Jennifer Choi, Lev Zhurbin, & Yves Dharamraj). Composer, improvising multi-instrumentalist, conceptual artist, & sculptor Douglas Ewart & his ensemble Quasar present “AACM the Sonic Progenitor”, Ewart’s tribute to the AACM for its incubation, nurturing, fostering, and development of experimentation, its commitment to community development, and its philosophical trajectories on a universal scale/level/scope. The concert will also address the issue of homelessness and the unjust nature of the justice system. With Thomas Buckner, Adegoke Steve Colson, Steve Goldstein, Mankwe Ndosi, Mary Oliver, J.D. Parran, & Warren Smith.

November Tzadik Releases

English: John Zorn Français : John Zorn

Source: Tzadik.

Daniel Zamir
Redemption Songs

Returning to Tzadik with a powerful Israeli quartet, super star Daniel Zamir plays his brilliant blend of JewishJazz with a deep spiritual power. Performing on alto and soprano saxophone, his solos burn with a white hot intensity. Joined here by some of his strongest musical associates, including Mark Guiliana and Shai Maestro, this is far and away his best CD to date. Scorching and fluid saxophone fireworks over shimmering harmonies and odd time signatures from one of the guiding lights of the Israeli Jazz scene.
Daniel Zamir: Alto And Soprano Saxes
Gilad Abro: Bass
Amir Bresle: Drums
Mark Guiliana: Drums
Nitai Hershkowits: Piano
Shai Maestro: Piano
Haggai Cohen Milo: Bass

John Zorn
Cerberus: The Book of Angels Volume 26

This is the Big Band Masada project you’ve been waiting for. Led by composers Sam Eastmond and Nikki Franklin, The SPIKE Orchestra is a large ensemble that draws on a wide range of influences including Duke Ellington, Frank Zappa, Carl Stalling, Zorn and more. Melding jazz, rock, klezmer, cartoon and the avant-garde into a compelling and cohesive vision, this new Angels installment is one of the most imaginative and manic masterpieces in the whole series. An outrageous and explosive swinger that will thrill even the most hardened skeptic. Essential.
Paul Booth: Tenor Sax, Clarinet
Erica Clarke: Baritone Sax, Bass Clarinet
Stewart Curtis: Tenor Sax, Clarinet
Sam Eastmond: Solo Trumpet
Nikki Franklin: Voice
Moss Freed: Guitar
Ben Greenslade-Stanton: Trombone
Mike Guy: Accordion
George Hogg: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Noel Langley: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Sam Leak: Piano, Keyboards
Chris Nickolls: Drums
Dave Powell: Tuba
Ashley Slater: Trombone
Karen Straw: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mike Wilkins: Alto Sax, Clarinet
Otto Willberg: Bass
Vasilis Xenopoulos: Alto Sax, Flute

Marshall Allen Interview

Source: Crack Magazine.

Born in Kentucky in 1924, Allen first met Sun Ra in Chicago in the late 1950s and soon joined the visionary’s collective of musicians as alto-saxophone, flute and oboe player. The Arkestra’s experimental approach to jazz, which mixed big band with avant-garde compositions, alongside Sun Ra’s claim to be of an “angel race” from Saturn, blazed a trail in jazz music and pioneered the ideology of afrofuturism, influencing artists ranging from George Clinton to techno in- novators such as Derrick May. At 91 years old, Allen’s remarkable energy is still intact, and he continues to lead the Arkestra around the world, spreading the word from outer space.



November 8, 2015
Thomas Lehn Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Thomas Lehn

November 6, 2015
Susanna Gartmayer Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Susanna Gartmayer

November 7, 2015
Sidsel Endresen Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Sidsel Endresen

November 8, 2015
Michael Zerang Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Michael Zerang

November 8, 2015
Mats Gustafsson Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Mats Gustafsson

November 7, 2015
Manon-Liu Winter Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Manon-Liu Winter

November 7, 2015
Leonel Kaplan & Klaus Filip, Im Pavillon, Wels
Klaus Filip Leonel Kaplan

November 6, 2015
Katharina Klement Solo, Schl8hof, Wels
Katharina Klement