AMN Reviews: Fire Maidens from Outer Space – Suddenly Alien (2015; Bandcamp)

These fire maidens are Bonnie Kane on sax, Reuben Radding on bass, and Dave Miller on drums. Referring to them as a free jazz trio would not be inaccurate, but perhaps not descriptive enough. The level of rawness and aggression herein goes beyond the mere “free” into a whole new territory.

Kane dedicated this album to “all who have been, and will be, displaced – by acts of man, by acts of nature. No doubt, there is a sense of anger herein. Kane’s playing (often multi-tracked) has a wailing, punk-rock urgency, while Radding and Miller fill out the low ends with busy, constantly-shifting rhythms. Some comparisons could be made to late-period Coltrane, the Italian improv group Zu, and of course Peter Brotzmann.

The result of all this is a 55-minute blast of energy, with few breaks or time for introspection. Some such moments are when Kane switches to flute, but those tracks are shorter, and just as bold as the more overtly outside offerings. This is a great recording for those who prefer a shot of dissonance in their morning coffee. Highly recommended.

Chicago Scene: April 10-15, 2016

English: Kent Kessler, moers festival 2010

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Sunday, April 10th 2016

7:00PM at Woodland Pattern, 720 E Locust, Milwaukee WI, 414.263.5001
Trio WAZ : Edward Wilkerson Jr, Tatsu Aoki, Michael Zerang

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$10)
ensemble mise-en, Moon Young Ha, conductor : Maria Johnson, Yumi Ito, Mark Broschinsky, Yumi Suehiro, Molly Germer, Evan Runyon — music by Bent Sørensen, Hans Abrahamsen, Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen, Simon Steen-Andersen, Carl Schimmel, Stephen A Taylor, Timothy Kramer, Moon Young Ha

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont, 773.709.1401 (wheelchair-accessible)
ABC Festival
Chicago/Amsterdam Mixed Groups

Monday, April 11th 2016

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10-$5)
Jeb Bishop, Hamid Drake, Joshua Abrams

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

9:30PM at The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee (wheelchair-accessible)
ABC Festival
Boeren Quintet : Eric Boeren, Wilbert de Joode, Gregg Moore, Jason Adasiewicz, Mike Reed
Wierbos/Dikeman Ensemble : Wolter Wierbos, John Dikeman, Mars Williams, Kent Kessler, Avreeayl Ra

Tuesday, April 12th 2016

9:00PM at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, 773.227.4433 ($5)
Tomeka Reid, Nick Mazzarella
Nick Mazzarella, Tomeka Reid, Joshua Abrams, Hamid Drake

Wednesday, April 13th 2016

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
ABC Festival
Oscar Jan Hoogland Chicago Project
Sound Of The City Workshop

Thursday, April 14th 2016

7:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
ABC Festival : 3-On-3
Michael Schumacher, Greg Moore, Wilbert de Joode

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Mars Williams, Kristof Curzmann
Kristof Curzmann, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang

Friday, April 15th 2016

7:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($25-$20)
Matthew Shipp, Michael Bisio
Available Jelly : Eric Boeren, Michael Moore, Wolter Wierbos, Ernst Glerum, Michael Vatcher

9:00PM at The Burlington, 3425 W Fullerton, 773.384.3243
Made To Break : Tim Daisy, Devin Hoff, Kristof Curzmann, Ken Vandermark
Brian Case
Kristof Curzmann, Tim Daisy

9:00PM at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 773.276.3600 ($20) (wheelchair-accessible)
Tim Hecker
Bruce Lamont
Good Willsmith

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,,

AMN Reviews: Mats Gustafsson – This is From the Mouth (2016; Utech Records)

Saxophonist Mats Gustafsson progressed beyond the free jazz label some time ago, especially considering his recent releases with Merzbow, Thurston Moore, and Balazs Pandi, Slobber Pup, and others. Here, he and his collaborators (David Sandström and Andreas Werliin) create an 18-minute wall of sound and drones that is one of his most “free” recordings.

A driving drum pattern provides the backing for slow-moving, distorted waves of horn. Both Sandström and Werliin are drummers, giving the piece a densely rhythmic feel not unlike Coltrane‘s works with dual percussionists. Gustafsson layers several tracks of his blowing into a mashup. While it is difficult to separate each sax line, some provide the drone walls, while others more buried in the mix squeak out an angular lead. The result is ominous, dark, but too aggressive to be haunting.

As This is From the Mouth progresses, it builds in intensity until about one minute prior to the end, at which point, the ocean of noise ebbs a bit, and we obtain a respite from this sonic attack.

See also:
AMN Reviews: Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi – Cuts (2013, Rare Noise Records)
AMN Reviews: Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi / Thurston Moore – Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper (2015; Rare Noise Records)
AMN Reviews: Slobber Pup – Pole Axe (2015; RareNoiseRecords)

The Bridge Collective May Performances in Chicago

Fred Lonberg-Holm in 2002

The Bridge is a collective of French and American creative improv musicians, the latter mostly based in Chicago.

The Sync [the Bridge #5]

Sylvaine Hélary – Flutes, Effects
Fred Lonberg-holm – Cello, Effects
Ève Risser – Piano, Prepared Piano
Mike Reed – Drums

5/05 – The Stony Island Arts Bank, Mikel Patrick Avery + Sylvaine Hélary & Ève Risser, 5:30 PM

5/05 – Constellation **CD RELEASE PARTY**, 8:30 PM

5/06 – Fundraiser for Chicago State University / Breakey Theather, Sylvaine Hélary & Nicole Mitchell duo & quartet

5/07 – Pianoforte Foundation, 7:00 PM

5/09 – Option Series at Experimental Sound Studio, Ève Risser solo & duo w/ Jason Roebke, 7:00PM

5/09 – Elastic Arts, Sylvaine Hélary & Lionel Garcin + Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery & Marcus Evans, 9PM

5/10 – The Whistler, Sylvaine Hélary & Fred Lonberg-Holm + Lionel Garcin, Christian Pruvost & Christophe Rocher + Joshua Abrams, Jim Baker, Lou Mallozzi & Avreeayl Ra

5/12 – Elastic Arts, 9PM

5/13 – Strobe Recording, Sylvaine Hélary & Eve Risser + Christian Pruvost & Christophe Rocher + Ben Lamar Gay, Nick Macri & Charles Rumback, 7PM

5/14 – Logan Center for the Arts, 7PM

5/15 – ProMusica, **Public recording session**, 3PM

5/15 – The Hungry Brain, 9PM

The Bridge #12

David Boykin — Saxophones
Lionel Garcin — Saxophones
Nicole Mitchell — Flutes
Christian Pruvost — Trumpets
Christophe Rocher — Clarinets

5/04 – Hyde Park Records, Nicole Mitchell & Christian Pruvost duo, 5:00 PM

5/04 – The Promontory, 7PM

5/05 – DePaul University, 5:00PM

5/05 – Constellation, 8:30 PM

5/06 – Fundraiser for Chicago State University / Breakey Theather, Nicole Mitchell & Sylvaine Hélary duo & quartet, 8PM

5/07 – Doug Fogelson Studio, 9PM

5/08 – Diasporal Rhythms, 12:30PM

5/08 – Woodland Pattern (Milwaukee, WI), 7:00PM

5/09 – Elastic Arts, Lionel Garcin & Sylvaine Hélary + Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery & Marcus Evans, 9PM

5/09 – The Whistler, Christian Pruvost & Christophe Rocher + Chicago guests, 9:30 PM

5/10 – The Whistler, Lionel Garcin, Christophe Rocher & Christian Pruvost + Sylvaine Hélary & Fred Lonberg-Holm + Chicago guests, 9:30 PM

5/11 – AFFC (Association des Français et Francophones de Chicago), Christophe Rocher Solo, 6PM

5/12 – Comfort Station, Lionel Garcin, Christophe Rocher & Christian Pruvost trio + Chicago guests, 7PM

5/13 – Strobe Recording, Christian Pruvost & Christophe Rocher + Sylvaine Hélary & Ève Risser + Ben Lamar Gay, Nick Macri & Charles Rumback, 7PM

5/13 – Corbett vs. Dempsey, Lionel Garcin solo, 7pm