AMN Reviews: exclusiveOr / Architeuthis Walks on Land / International Contemporary Ensemble – “modules” [Carrier 044]

Jeff Snyder and Sam Pluta have been working together since 2006 as the duo exclusiveOR.  With Snyder performing on analog synthesizer and Pluta on live electronics. Their work explores the intersection of composition and improvisation with live electronics. For “modules” the duo is joined by some of today’s leading creative musicians: Architeuthis Walks on Land (AWOL) which is Amy Cimini – viola and Katherine Young – bassoon, and members of ICEPeter Evans, Nate Wooley – trumpets, Ryan Muncy – saxophones, Weston Olencki – trombone and Ross Karre – percussion.

“modules” was commissioned in 2014 by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) as part of their ICELab Series. It is a concert length work that utilizes both improvisation and strictly notated material. The piece covers a lot of ground as it flows through its fifteen modules in which seemingly opposing materials (pitch, sound and noise) and methodologies (composition, improvisation and live electronics) seamlessly interact with one another to create a unified whole. 


The fifteen “modules” are comprised of five composed by Pluta, five by Snyder and five improvisations from various small groupings of the ensemble. Each of these tracks or modules has its own distinct character, color and instrumentation. Pluta’s modules tend to be more aggressive and noisier, while Snyder’s are often more harmonically focused. The improvised sections are all sonically oriented and very original. Despite the contrasts within each module they really seem connected and many segments flow into one another in a conversational like manner.

Here is an earlier performance with brass quartet, analog synthesizer, live electronics, and percussion.  It’s interesting to hear both of these versions because it makes clear the significant contributions that improvisers can bring to pieces like “modules”.

For those that need some kind of categorization I would put “modules” under the banner of “creative music”; in that the sound worlds that the composers and improvisers create, freely explore many different contemporary and historical musical ideas without any allegiance or deference to any of the “school’s” associated with these ideas. This is a trend that has been growing for quite some time and I think the composers and improvisers on “modules” are among the best of a new generation of musicians continuing this exploration.

Highly recommended!

Chris De Chiara



AMN Reviews: The Tomeka Reid Quartet in Chicago

Last night cellist Tomeka Reid brought her quartet to Chicago’s Constellation for two sets of blues-inflected avant-jazz. Along with guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Tomas (the “s” is silent) Fujiwara, the soft-spoken Reid offered a mix of tunes both soulful and blistering.

To these ears, one of the high points was early in the second set when the group diverged into free improvisation with liberal extended technique use. But most of the pieces were from Old New, which released last month (read our review).

The turnout was solid for a Monday night, with almost all seats taken. At the beginning of the show, Reid was presented with the Jazz Journalists Association award for Violinist-Violist-Cellist of the Year.

Cuneiform Records Artists on Tour

Source: Cuneiform Records.

November 21 – The Holocene – 1001 SE Morrison, Portland, OR 97214 [This will be special! – Blue Cranes + Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Octet: Blue Cranes music rearranged for large ensemble!]
December 17 – The 1905 – 830 N Shaver St – Portland, OR 97227

December 12 – Bonington Theatre – Nottingham, UK

November 7 – La Scène du Canal – Paris, France [with Lady With]
December 10 – Les Disquaires – 4-6 rue des Tallianders – 75011 Paris, France

November 23 – Comet Ping Pong – 5037 Connecticut Ave NW – Washington, DC [a great bill as Janel opens her Art Show at Comet with a celebration of music and art – also featuring The El Reys, Antonia, Saxophone Quartet #1, and more

November 22 – RhizomeDC – 6950 Maple St NW – Washington, DC [Takoma metro] [Solo guitar with Antarctic underwater videos – For this show Henry will present some of his newest and best underwater video from beneath the ice of the Ross Sea. He will accompany this footage with live solo guitar improvisations.]
November 23 – RhizomeDC – 6950 Maple St NW – Washington, DC [Takoma metro] [Solo guitar requia by requst: Two of Kaiser’s solo guitar releases consisted of heartfelt guitar requia for many of his departed heroes and great ancestors. At this gig Henry will experiment with playing solo guitar requia requests from audience members; so bring some ideas for whom you might want to hear solo guitar improvisations in memory of!]

November 30 – Wendland Jazz – Gedelitz, Germany
December 1 – B-Flat – Berlin, Germany
December 19 – Theater Tuchlaube – Aarau, Switzerland

LED BIB [these shows will be played live to a specially commissioned film by Dylan Pecora]
November 8 – Metronome – Nottingham, UK
November 24 – London Jazz Festival – RIO Cinema – London, UK

MESSTHETICS [featuring Anthony Pirog]
December 5 – The Mothlight – Ashville, NC
December 6 – The Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
December 8 – Minglewood Hall – 1884 Lounge – Memphis, TN
December 9 – George’s Majestic Lounge – Fayetteville, AR
December 10 – The Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
December 12 – The Burl – Lexington, KY
December 13 – The Union Bar & Grill – Athens, GA
December 14 – MOTR Pub – Cincinnati, OH
December 15 – 123 Pleasant St – Morgantown, WV

November 8 – Barnes Hall – Cornell University Campus – Ithaca, NY – 7:00 pm [free – get there early!]
November 15 – HF Museum Of Artl – Cornell University Campus – Ithaca, NY – 7:00 pm [free – get there early!]

November 18 – The Iridium – 1650 Broadway – NYC, NY
November 23 – Reading Blues Festival – DoubleTree by Hilton Reading – 701 Penn Street – Reading, PA 19601 [ROB PAPAROZZI & THE ED PALERMO BIG BAND featuring special guest ROBBEN FORD – Celebrating the Music of Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Mike Bloomfield’s Electric Flag]
December 9 – The Iridium – 1650 Broadway – NYC, NY
December 21 – The Falcon – 1348 Route 9W – Marlboro, NY 12542
December 31 – The Falcon – 1348 Route 9W – Marlboro, NY 12542

November 7 – Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery – 800 G St NW – Washington, DC 20004 – free! all ages! 5:30 – 7:00 pm

November 6 – Blue Llama – 314 S Main St – Ann Arbor, MI 48104

November 22 – Point 11 – rue du Grand-Pont 11 – 1950 Sion, Switzerland
November 23 – Tunnel – Glarus, Switzerland

November 10 – Mono – Glascow, Scotland
November 11 – The Cluny – Newcastle On Tyne, UK
November 14 – Storey’s Field Center – Cambridge, UK
November 21 – Komedia – Brighton, UK
November 29 – Paradox – Tilburg, The Netherlands
November 30 – De Boerderij – Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

THE SPELLCASTERS [Joel Harrison – Anthony Pirog – Grant Gordy – John Previte – Mike Kuhl]
November 2 – Capital Audiofest – Hilton Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center – 1750 Rockville Pike – Rockville, MD [ Twinbrook Metro stop on Red Line is just steps away!]

Musique Machine Reviews

Source: Musique Machine.

Cynic – Traced in Air Remixed

Achim Zepezauer + Guests – Kuhzunft:Slotmachine

Francisco López & Miguel A. García – Ekkert Nafn

Empathy Family – Maybe In My Next Life

Various Artists – Music To Scare Your Neighbours

Asmus Tietchens & Dirk Serries – Air

François Carrier Upcoming Concerts

Source: François Carrier.

Nov 13 @Stacja Kultura, Rumia Poland
with Michel Lambert, Tomek Gadecki and Marcin Bożek

Nov 14 @Pies Andaluzyjski, Poznań Poland
with Michel Lambert, Tomek Gadecki, Marcin Bożek and and Poznaniu

Nov 15 @WRZE Pracownia, Gdansk Poland
with Michel Lambert, Tomek Gadecki and Marcin Bożek

Nov 16 @TBC, Perede Portugal
with Michel Lambert and Hernâni Faustino

Nov 18 @23Robadors, Barcelona Spain
with Michel Lambert, Diego Caicedo and Pablo Schvarzman

Nov 20 @SODA Acústic, Barcelona Spain
with Michel Lambert, Diego Caicedo and Pablo Schvarzman

Nov 22 @Jazz Circulo, Madrid Spain
with Michel Lambert and Christian Perez

Nov 29 @Bitches Brew, Yokohama Japan
with Masayo Koketsu (as)

Nov 30 @Bitches Brew, Yokohama Japan
with Daisuke Fuse (b)

Dec 1 @Bitches Brew, Yokohama Japan
with Kizan Daiyoshi (bamboo flute) and Kawori Komura (Korean traditional percussion)

Dec 4 @Bar cafe the S, Morioka Japan
with Onnyk and friends

Dec 5 @Cafe-bar Yoneyama, Morioka Japan
with Onnyk and friends

Dec 7 @Swing Second, Maebashi Japan
with Masayo Koketsu (as) and Takashi Itani (ds)

Dec 8 @TBA, Tokyo Japan

Sonny Rollins in the ’70s: Part 1 

Source: burning ambulance.

Sonny Rollins might be the greatest tenor saxophonist who ever lived. But in the 21st century, his reputation mostly rests on the albums he made in the 1950s and 1960s, on the Blue Note, Riverside, Prestige, RCA, and Impulse! labels. His 1970s and ’80s albums are often overlooked or forgotten these days. Well, in this series, we’re going to remedy that, and dig into every one of Rollins’ albums from the ’70s, twelve in all, ten of them for the Milestone label, where he was signed from 1972 to 2001. This string of releases includes some of his most pop-friendly material, but it also includes some truly uncompromising work, as well as some unexpected sounds — Rollins can be heard playing the soprano on several of these records.