Source: Downtown Music Gallery.
I.P.Y. with IKUE MORI / PHEW / YOSHIMI-O – IPY (Tzadik 4032; USA) Ikue Mori, Phew and YoshimiO are three legends of the Japanese Avant Garde music scene: Ikue was an original member of DNA and is a vital member of the NYC Downtown Scene, Phew founded Aunt Sally in 1978 and has performed in countless folk/rock solo projects and collaborations and YoshimiO is a core member of the Boredoms, Saicobab and OOIOO. Here they come together for their first ever trio project. Recorded at Club U.F.O. in Tokyo, the music was edited and mixed during the shelter-in-place months of early 2020. Surprising and powerful, this is a fabulous and essential meeting of three new music superstars. – Release October, 2020
JAMES BRANDON LEWIS QUARTET with ARUAN ORTIZ / BRAD JONES / CHAD TAYLOR – Molecular (Intakt 350; Switzerland) Saxophonist and composer James Brandon Lewis possesses an inspiring energy. His deep curiosity and the thrill he gets from discovery are crucial facets of his personality, and qualities that guide his art. Over the last half-decade he’s emerged as one of the most exciting figures in jazz and improvised music, a voracious listener who rejects stylistic hierarchies and one that has feverishly explored new ideas and embraced fresh motivations with every new project. Inspired by molecular biology James Brandon develops a special system for a surprising and beautiful music with his Quartet with drummer Chad Taylor, pianist Aruán Ortiz, and bassist Brad Jones. He has taken the idea of a “Molecular Systematic Music” to heart in the formulation of the compositions featured on the stunning debut album by this quartet. James Brandon Lewis says: “I wrote out everything, but the reason I feel like the music is still free is because the lines dictate the harmonic information. With this band the music is going to lift off the page.” Listen to the recordings: The James Brandon Lewis Quartet takes off with an exuberant joy of playing and that rhythmic intensity and thematic beauty that is rooted in the jazz tradition.”
JUNK MAGIC with CRAIG TABORN / CHRIS SPEED / MAT MANERI / ERIK FRATZKE / DAVE KING – Compass Confusion (Pyroclastic 12; USA) Featuring Craig Taborn on electric piano, keyboards & compositions, Chris Speed on tenor sax & clarinet, Mat Maneri on viola, Erik Fratzke on electric bass and Dave King on drums. Way back in 2004, Downtown master keyboardist, Craig Taborn, had a quartet who made an album titled, ‘Junk Magic’ (Thirsty Ear, OOP). It was an electric group with Mr. Taborn on electric keyboards plus Mat Maneri on viola and Bad Plus drummer Dave King. Aside from being one of the best acoustic pianists of the entire Downtown Network, Mr. Taborn has continued to work with electric keyboards with Tim Berne, Dave Holland’s Prism and Dan Weiss’ current fusion/metal quintet, Starebaby. So now, more than 15 years later, Mr. Taborn returns with a new version of Junk Magic, still an electric quartet with two of the original members Mat Maneri and Dave King plus bassist Erik Fratzke, who has worked with Dave King in other projects.