AMN Reviews: Jordan Glenn – BEAK LIVE (2017; Minus Zero)

Minus Zero is a new label started by Vijay Anderson, Ben Goldberg, and Dina Maccabee. All of the proceeds from album sales are donated to Planned Parenthood. This is a review in an ongoing series covering the label’s releases.

Jordan Glenn, otherwise known as the drummer of Jack O’ The Clock and the Fred Frith Trio, takes on a composition and conducting role in this live recording. His “band” consists of Will Northlich-Redmond on guitar and kalimba, Karl Evangelista on guitar, Mark Clifford on vibraphone, Jason Hoopes on bass, Robert Woods-LaDue on percussion, Robert Lopez on percussion, and Jon Arkin on drums.

This percussion-oriented ensemble divides its time between semi-tuneful themes and more outside excursions. But rather than sounding African or Brazilian, for example, Glenn keeps the group heading in a direction informed by American rock music but sounding too exotic for that label. The rhythm section lays down complex yet melodic structures while the guitars improvise and accentuate. Nonetheless, the entire group is not opposed to making departures into free noise from time to time.

The only caveat to this recording is that it captures a significant amount of audience noise (not just cheering) which can distract from the quieter moments. Or, in a Cage sense, perhaps the audience is part of the composition. In any event, not unlike said audience, one can only applaud Glenn’s efforts herein, as he manages to beat a new musical path using familiar and diverse elements.

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RIP John Abercrombie

English: John Abercrombie playing at Bratislav...

Source: Wikipedia.

John Abercrombie (December 16, 1944 – August 22, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist, composer, and bandleader. His work explored jazz fusion, post bop, free jazz and avant-garde jazz. Abercrombie studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He recorded his debut album, Timeless with Manfred Eicher’s ECM label, and recorded principally with this label since then. Abercrombie played with Billy Cobham, Ralph Towner, Jack DeJohnette, Charles Lloyd, Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker. He was known for his spare, understated and eclectic style and his work with organ trios.

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell at the Pomigliano ...

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Roscoe Mitchell – Bells for the South Side (ECM, 2017) ****½

Vlady Bystrov, Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky – Annäherungen (Fancymusic, 2016) ****

Nate Wooley – knknighgh (Clean Feed, 2017) ****1/2

Matt Piet and Paul Giallorenzo – Wood, Wire and Steel 2017

Matt Piet & Tim Daisy- strike one; strike too (s/r, 2017)

Matt Piet, Raoul Van Der Weide, Frank Rosaly – Out of Step (s/r, 2017)

Matt Piet Trio- Of Sound Mind (Amalgam, 2016)

Dave Rempis, Matt Piet, Tim Daisy – Cure for the Quotidian (Amalgam, 2016)

Matt Piet Trio – Live at Constellation 2016

Matt Piet Trio – At the Hungry Brain 2017

Matt Piet Trio – Live at Elastic Arts 2017

Ryoko Akama – places and pages (Another Timbre, 2017) ****

Big Bold Back Bone – In Search of the Emerging Species (Shhpuma, 2017) ****

Okkyung Lee Interviewed and Profiled

Okkyung lee 6021446sw

Source: Portland Mercury.

Though Okkyung Lee calls New York home, the cellist and composer is rarely home these days. This year alone, she’s toured Australia, played festivals in Russia and Norway, and spent time in Stuttgart for a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude. This week she’ll join brusque doom rockers Swans on their final West Coast tour, serving as their opening act and sitting in with the band each night.

Double Bassist Damon Smith is a Driving Force in Out-Jazz 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

It’s a Friday night in Bushwick, Brooklyn at the ramshackle, cozy DIY space Noise Workshop (formerly Secret Project Robot). Double bassist Damon Smith, a hardcore punk rock disciple turned free improvisational titan is fully in his element, helping unleash an impossible firestorm of loud noise. Other noise musicians have their “noise tables,” an arrangement of synths and other machinery they use to produce their crushing sound; Smith, on the other hand, towers over a sheet music stand stocked with a junkyard’s worth of miscellaneous contraptions—bows, drumsticks, clothespins, and chains—all ready to be rammed, prodded, poked, and spun into his bass strings.