AMN Reviews: Patrick Shiroishi / Dylan Fujioka / Paco Casanova – Kage Cometa (2018; FMR Records)

Saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi is back with a new release, this time teaming up with keyboardist Paco Casanova and drummer Dylan Fujioka (who plays with Shiroishi in Upsilon Acrux) for a single-track album of atmospheric free improv. Recorded live at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in March of last year, Kage Cometa was released on June 29.

The trio is not afraid to let loose, but also exhibits noticeable restraint throughout. The first few minutes involve a drone from Casanova that is eventually joined by Shiroishi. As Fujioka joins in with his staggered percussion, the other two break out into more distinctively set forth themes and motifs. By the 11-minute mark, however, the three are engaged in all-out improvisation. Each head in their own direction, but these individual offerings are coherent as a whole. Shiroishi offers an angular solo or two, but also provides discordant droning leads over waves of synth and disjointed drumming. This approach grows wilder and wilder until it climaxes about 30 minutes in.  Falling action follows, as the group returns to an atmospheric approach not unlike that of the track’s beginning. But they end on a powerful note with a subtle and busy flourish to round out the last few minutes of the album.

Shiroishi, Fujioka, and Casanova provide a powerful, poignant, and highly appealing style of free improv on Kage Cometa that, despite its instrumentation, largely avoids the trappings of jazz. Well worth checking out for fans of the genre or anyone open to hearing something new.



AMN Reviews: Moloch Conspiracy – The Cave of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights (2018; Eighth Tower Records)

You have probably heard of dark ambient music. This album is deep ambient music, both literally and figuratively. Waves of bassy synth provide shifting drones. Over these are a variety of elements including disjoint percussion, vocals, piano, stringed instruments, and field recordings. The overarching theme is exploring the mysteries of a cave, and the music suits that purpose.

Moloch Conspiracy is French experimentalist Julien A. Lacroix who has put out a number of odd recordings over the last several years. The Cave of Metaphysical Darkness & Lights, however, is a full-blown, thematic album with windswept soundscapes, haunted chanting, and a surprising amount of acoustic improvisation. But the album provides more than just ominous atmospherics; instead, is an immersion into an unknown (and perhaps unknowable) subterranean world of wonder and fear.

To that point, Kulullû, the third track, combines discordant drones, echoing arrhythmic percussion, sparse piano chords, a theme plucked on a gusle (an Eastern European stringed instrument used in the folk tradition), and subtle vocalizations. The result is an earthiness unlike many dark ambient offerings that rely primarily on technology for their sonic vocabularies.

Lacroix is a detail-oriented arranger whose musical imagery is vivid and dense. Each listen of the album brings forth new elements and further appreciation of its scope and delicacy. You can feel and hear the water dripping from walls of Lacroix’s cave, a destination well worth exploring.

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Mark Nauseef – All in All in All (Relative Pitch, 2018) ****

Thumbscrew – Ours (Cuneiform, 2018) ****

Thumbscrew – Theirs (Cuneiform, 2018) ***½

Larry Ochs Sax And Drumming Core – Wild Red Yellow (RogueArt, 2017) ****½

This Is It! – 1538 (Libra, 2018) ****½

Fujii/Fonda/Mimmo – Triad (Long Song Records, 2018) ****½

Kira Kira – Bright Force (Libra Records, 2018) ****½

Seattle Scene: July 5-14, 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.

Earshot: Sonder + KO Electric
Thu. July 5, 8 PM; $5 – $15 online/at the door

Sonder – Chris McCarthy (piano), Greg Feingold (bass), Thomas Campbell (drums) – performs covers of songs from the 21st century that they assert “are malleable enough to be effective vehicles for improvisation.” Saxophonist Kate Olson leads her group, KO Electric, with Tarik Abouzied (bass!), Ryan Burns (keyboards), and Ruby Dunphy of Thunderpussy (drums). Part of Earshot’s Jazz: The 2nd Century series.

CARL/Scrambler/Macaw/Neil Welch
Fri. July 6, 8:00 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

CARL is a baritone sax/drums duo from Houston (Danny Kamins and Andrew Durham) merging free jazz and doom metal. Scrambler is a large improvising ensemble conducted by Christian Pincock using the Sound Painting vocabulary of Walter Thompson. Macaw is the Beefheartian guitar/drums skronk of Jeb Polstein and Tom Scully. Neil Welch plays improvised saxophone and electronics.

Dennis Rea: Tanabata Concert
Sat. July 7, 8:00 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Guitarist Dennis Rea continues the tradition of Tanabata (Asian star festival) concerts that fall on his birthday of 7/7, with drummers Alan Cook and Don Berman, Dick Valentine (woodwinds), and Jan Koekepan (electronics) in various configurations. Expect original pieces, interpretations of Central Asian traditional music, and expansive improvisations, all within the warm sonic embrace of the Chapel.

THU. 7/12 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: the Second Century, Cathedral of Trees + Fig

SAT. 7/14 – Neal Kosaly-Meyer’s ongoing piano work Gradus: for Fux, Tesla, and Milo the Wrestler

Dirk Serries Fall New Releases and Performances Announced


New releases:

(October 13th 2018, A New Wave Of Jazz)


Celebrating his 50th birthday in par with the release of three TONUS albums on his own New Wave Of Jazz imprint, the TONUS ensemble (in varying line-ups) will play two special events. The albums will go up for pre-order early September.

Saturday, October 13th 2018 – De Singer, Rijkevorsel (Belgium)
ensemble : Patrick De Groote (trumpet), Dirk Serries (accordion, acoustic guitar), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Nils Vermeulen (double bass), Colin Webster (alto sax)

Saturday, October 27th 2018 – Cafe OTO, London (UK)
ensemble : Graham Dunning (snare drum, objects), Kristoffer Lo (flugabone), Cath Roberts (baritone sax), Dirk Serries (accordion, acoustic guitar), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Tom Ward (bass clarinet), Colin Webster (alto sax), Otto Willberg (double bass)