AMN Reviews: Louis Minus XVI – De Anima (2017; Circum-Disc)

De Anima begins with a staggered bass / drum rhythm that is slowly joined by a pair of saxes droning out long tones. Over the course of several minutes, the piece (titled Lustig Traurig) builds in tension and direction until the wailing saxes are freely dueling over unstructured drumming, then ends with just the saxes offering a discordant final statement.

As far as I can tell, this 30-minute album is the fifth from the French group Louis Minus XVI. Consisting of Adrien Douliez and Jean-Baptiste Rubin on the aforementioned saxes, as well as Maxime Petit on bass and Frédéric L’Homme on drums, this quartet offers De Anima as a short burst of angular energy.

To that point, I Want You Lemchaheb features intertwined, angular melodies over a driving rhythm section, eventually leading to a crescendo and release. Une Certaine Dose De Tendresse offers another punctuated tempo. The saxes break apart and come together with ease, providing a sense of intent to an otherwise open-ended approach.

The overall sound of Louis Minus XVI is different from say, New York, Chicago, or London free jazz, though it shares characteristics with each. Rather than all-out improvisation, there is a sense of direction on De Anima, as each track has its beginning, middle, and end with a logical progression therebetween. This a quite a strong release that finds a compelling path between chaos and order.

AMN Reviews: Paula Shocron / William Parker / Pablo Diaz – Emptying the Self (2017; NendoDangoRecords)

Argentinians Shocron (piano) and Diaz (drums and percussion) team up with one of the elder statesmen of creative improvisation, New Yorker William Parker (bass, of course). Consisting of four tracks ranging from five to twenty-three minutes, this trio offers a familiar and introspective take on modern jazz, with plenty of “free” moments, but also a nod toward conventional notions of melody.

Perhaps the most notable moments begin around one-third of the way through Fifty Five, the longest piece. Parker’s meandering bass lines provide the grounding for Shocron and Diaz to expand upon. The former sticks to a lyrical, almost pastoral, approach, while the latter pushes the envelope with angular beats. After several minutes of this approach, the group takes a left turn with Parker switching to rapid-fire bow work, Diaz providing extended percussion techniques, and Shocron filling in the gaps with clusters of notes ala Cecil Taylor.

On Independence Day, Shocron’s staccato chording is contrasted with Diaz’s rattling cymbal-work, while Parker takes a more subtle role. This combination of elements builds tension across the track’s first six minutes before slowing into a quieter and more straightforward approach. Buenos Aires continues this trend, as it is a downtempo, bass-led piece with percussive piano and accentuated drumming.

Seattle Scene: December 29, 2017 – January 12, 2018

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:


Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center

4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)

Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

1_lu_1, N. Welch, Jacboson/Sinibaldi
Fri. Dec. 29, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

1_lu_1 is Brooklyn-based Ben Cohen (sax) and Dustin Carlson (guitar) + Oregon drummer Tim Cohen. Their mostly improvised music goes from rock-inspired avant-garde to minimalism and noise. The Jacobson/Sinibaldi duo combine electronic wind instrument and the human voice in its many capacities. Saxophonist Neil Welch spans avant-garde jazz, modal composition, North Indian Hindustani music, and electronics.

Seattle Composers’ Salon
Fri. Jan. 5, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

The Seattle Composers’ Salon fosters the development, performance and appreciation of new music by regional composers and performers. At bi-monthly, informal presentations, the Salon features finished works, previews, and works in progress in a casual setting that allows for experimentation and discussion. Tonight’s featured composers: Carson Farley, Aaron Keyt, Ian McKnight, Patrick O’Keefe.

Pink Void + Noisegasm + OwL-Dent
Sat. Jan. 6, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Pink Void (Crystal Perez of Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/Low Hums) creates sprawling landscapes of layered guitar, samples, and static. Electronic duo Noisegasm (Greg Weber & Brad Anderson) are equal parts noise, rock, classical, ambient and avant garde. OwL-Dent = Experimental soul. Crux trinket. Everything is a toy. Whirlpools. Sometimes finds ghost voices.

THU. 1/11 – February features original compositions of Kelsey Mines, joined by Mike Gebhart, Andrew Olmstead, and Matt Williams + the quartet Tiny Ghost, playing the strange yet pretty music of Ivan Arteaga

FRI. 1/12 – Jesse Myers plays contemplative solo piano works by Pärt, Feldman and others

January at the IBeam Brooklyn

Source: IBeam Brooklyn.

Eva Novoa Trio: Novoa / Gress / Gray
Friday, January 12th 9:00 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Eva Novoa, piano and compositions
Drew Gress, bass
Devin Gray, drums

Joe Fiedler’s Stunt Chicken
Saturday, January 27th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
playing music from the golden age of Sesame Street
2 sets (8:30 and 10:00)
Joe Fiedler/Trombone & Arrangements
Jeff Lederer/Soprano & Tenor Saxophones
Sean Conly/Electric Bass
Allison Miller/Drums

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Wadada Leo Smith

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Alexandra Grimal, Benjamin Duboc, Valentin Ceccaldi – Bambu (Ayler, 2017) ****½

Cortex – Avant-Garde Party Music (Clean Feed, 2017) ****½

Barry Guy – Frogs (Trost, 2017) ***

Gebhard Ullmann / Oliver Potratz / Eric Schaefer – Das Kondenstat (WhyPlayJazz, 2017) ****½

Wadada Leo Smith – Najwa (TUM Records, 2017) *****

Eve Risser & Kaja Draksler – To Pianos (Clean Feed, 2017) *****

Jamie Saft Interview

Source: burning ambulance.

It’s summertime in bucolic and peaceful Kerhonkson, New York, and Jamie Saft—the intrepid piano and electric keyboards titan and John Zorn and Bad Brains collaborator—is deep in his element. The musical polymath is sipping on an espresso in his kitchen while cooking up a tasty breakfast spread for his children, far away from the hustle, bustle and noise of New York City where he originally made his indelible mark in the downtown avant-garde jazz and experimental scenes, one that still reverberates today.