Luke Stewart Interview and Profile

Source: Jazz Right Now.

Luke Stewart has emerged as one of the most exciting young bassists on the improvised music scene on the east coast. Based in Washington, DC, he plays regularly in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, and has toured in Europe. He has gained considerable exposure playing with the James Brandon Lewis Trio and he also leads or co-leads his own projects including Ancestral Duo with Jamal Moore and Heart of the Ghost with Ian McColm and Jarrett Gilgore. As a solo artist, he has composed a series of improvisational structures forupright bass and amplifier, utilizing the resonant qualities of the instrument to explore new sounds. He has also been integral to the literary jazz group Heroes Are Gang Leaders.

The John Coltrane Record That Made Modern Music 

Interstellar Space

Source: GQ.

Today, exactly 50 years will have passed since the death of John Coltrane, one of the most groundbreaking and technically gifted jazz musicians ever. Over the course of his four decades on earth, Coltrane lived and breathed to create jazz saturated with dissonance and arrhythmia and tenacity—raw jazz, powerful jazz, jazz hundreds of stories tall.

To commemorate the half century that has passed since Coltrane’s death, many will revisit his most famous songs (“My Favorite Things,” “In a Sentimental Mood”) and records (Giant Steps, A Love Supreme, Blue Train). However, too few will reflect upon Coltrane’s most tenacious and inaccessible album, Interstellar Space, which was released posthumously and is, in many ways, Coltrane’s most influential record, its echoes still heard today in everything from electronic music to some of the world’s biggest hip-hop acts.

Bill Laswell Profiled

Source: Premier Guitar.

There are rules, and then there are exceptions to those rules. In the musical universe, Bill Laswell has cultivated an extraordinary body of work that pretty much breaks the mold.

Whether producing seminal albums like Public Image Ltd’s Album and Mötorhead’s Orgasmatron (both from 1986) or playing bass in bands like the intensely abrasive trio Painkiller, he’s spent most of his career defying convention. For his recent release on his M.O.D. Technologies imprint, The Drawing Center, he teams up with trumpeter Dave Douglas and drummer Hideo Yamaki and delves deeply into a boundless sonic experiment titled “The Science of Imaginary Solutions.” The 45-minute, single-track instrumental was recorded live at New York City venue the Drawing Center in August 2016 and affirms Laswell’s relentless pursuit of momentary creative expression. Not only is The Drawing Center a live record, it’s an improvisatory one. Laswell and his mates didn’t know what they were going to play when they showed up at the gig. They simply dove into the moment, trusted their instincts, and delivered an absolutely blistering set of music that defies categorization.

Marc Ribot on Acoustic Guitar and Songs of Resistance

English: Marc Ribot at Jazzfestival Saalfelden...

Source: Westword.

When he plays solo shows, 63-year-old Ribot says he feels free to call on his entire music history. And that dates back to his beginnings on classical guitar at the age of ten, through his work as a sideman from ’79 through ’85 with legends like Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Chuck Berry and others, a four-year stint with the Lounge Lizards and numerous collaborations with New York’s downtown avant-garde musicians like John Zorn.

Along the way, Ribot has recorded nearly two dozen albums under his name that show the wide-reaching scope of his guitar skills. He has an homage to Cuban composer Arsenio Rodriguez with his group Marc Ribot y Cubanos Postizos, an exploration of the music of avant-garde saxophonist Albert Ayler with Spiritual Unity, and a jaunt into Philly soul with the Young Philadelphians. His affinity for punk and no wave are evident in Rootless Cosmopolitans.

Tyshawn Sorey Defeats Preconceptions 

English: Tyshawn Sorey at moers festival 2010

Source: The New Yorker.

omething vital is happening at the boundary between classical music and jazz. The border has long been an active and porous one, going back to the days when Duke Ellington adopted symphonic forms and Maurice Ravel assimilated the blues. In the nineteen-fifties and sixties, what Gunther Schuller dubbed the Third Stream movement encompassed modernist compositions with jazz features and large-scale conceptions by the likes of Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman. Since the nineteen-seventies, John Zorn has been crisscrossing the divide in kinetic patterns. The striking thing about twenty-first-century explorations of this terrain is that they no longer require a name or a justification; rather, a growing community of creative musicians—from elders like Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith to younger exponents like Vijay Iyer and Sylvie Courvoisier—draw on classical and jazz elements as the occasion requires. They seek not so much a seamless fusion as the freedom to move around at will.

The composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey, a Newark native, who turns thirty-seven this month, is among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone. He is currently in residence at the Stone (July 4-9), the Zorn-led venue that is in the process of moving from a cramped East Village space to roomier digs at the New School. In August, Sorey will release a trio album, called “Verisimilitude,” on the Pi label. And in the fall he will begin teaching at Wesleyan, taking Braxton’s place on the faculty. In the jazz world, he is best known for his asymmetrical, unpredictable, timbrally explosive drumming, which has given anarchic momentum to a number of Iyer’s ensemble pieces. Yet in the past couple of years he has also made his mark with imposing compositional statements: a song cycle paying tribute to Josephine Baker, which had its première at the 2016 Ojai Music Festival (and can be seen online), and a two-hour suite entitled “The Inner Spectrum of Variables,” a recording of which was released by Pi last year.

The Solo Work and Legacy of Dieter Moebius 

German/Swiss electronic experimental musician ...

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

We credit Brian Eno with coining the term “ambient music” and opening experimental music to a mainstream audience—but it was largely the work of Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, aka Cluster—that prompted Eno to do so. The recordings these two young composers made together helped define a set of stylistic benchmarks that outlined “krautrock”—German experimental rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s—as a genre.

Though it’s most often associated with a shortlist of groups in more traditional psychedelic and prog-leaning directions, or is used as a rather crude umbrella for any German music of the sort (Can, Popol Vuh, and so forth), krautrock may be best understood as early German prog. Though they recorded one of the genre’s foundational staples with 1974’s landmark Zuckerzeit, Cluster exhibited characteristics that positioned them as a stylistic outlier to that basic archetype. (It’s notable that the musicians labeled “krautrock” have never particularly embraced the label.)

The Ethereal Genius of Craig Taborn

Craig Taborn (Prezens, at the Vortex (London) ...

Source: The New York Times.

The jazz pianist Craig Taborn often goes to museums for inspiration, carrying a notebook to record ideas for compositions and song titles. He also sometimes performs at museums, becoming a sort of art object himself. This is a complicated situation for Taborn, who is very private. His mother, Marjorie Taborn, remembers seeing him at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, where he played a recital to a full house at the debut of his solo album “Avenging Angel.” After the show, she was chatting with his friend Tim Berne, a saxophonist, while her son signed copies of his album, smiling graciously and patiently fielding questions. She and Berne looked at each other, because they each knew how much effort this required from Taborn. “Look at Craig,” Taborn’s mother recalls telling Berne, “he’s getting everything he never wanted, all the attention he’d never seek.”