David Menestres on Barre Phillips 

Source: burning ambulance.

It seems almost impossible, but the idea of the solo double bass album only goes back fifty years. The album generally credited as being the first was Journal Violone by Barre Phillips, recorded on November 30, 1968 inside St. James Norlands church in London. Fifty years later, Barre Phillips is ending his long run of solo albums and performances with one last album, End to End, released earlier this year on ECM.


John Zorn Career Profile

Source: Art & Music Magazine.

David Sheppard celebrates the film music of American composer John Zorn, a musician who, he suggests, is something of a victim of his own creative eclecticism and unremitting artistic curiosity, his true genius “obscured by the cloud of his own scorching but unclassifiable prodigiousness”.

The Strange World Of… Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Source: The Quietus.

About to turn 84 and still going strong, Hans-Joachim Roedelius has led a long and extraordinary life, which has taken in Nazi Germany, postwar turmoil, the birth of Krautrock and working with Michael Rother and Brian Eno among others. His mind, however, is fixed on the present and the future, he tells David Stubbs

The Compositional Journey of Tyshawn Sorey 

Source: The Brooklyn Rail.

Sorey has a new album out his month on Firehouse 12, Pillars, a three-CD set of electro-acoustic music for an ensemble that includes Sorey himself conducting and playing percussion and improvising new music players Stephen Haynes (trumpet), Ben Gerstein (trombone), Todd Neufeld (guitars), Joe Morris (electric guitar, double-bass), Carl Testa (double-bass), Mark Helias (double-bass) and Zach Rowden (double-bass). Pillars is a further extension of Sorey’s compositions—it’s driven from deep, internal imperatives, the music taking shape out of personal exploration and discovery, rather than as a response to existing structures, forms, and even styles. This is so even with the strong sound of (non-jazz) free improvisation—there are some faint echoes of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, but those sound less like Sorey’s design than the influence that the earlier group has had on the individual musicians performing Pillars.

Experimental Vocalist Anne Rhodes Profiled

Source: New Haven Independent.

It starts with a series of arpeggios, at first sweet, then curdling with each layer added. Then a vocal line flutters and soars over the top of it, spirals out of control as the arpeggios drop into a deep fog. Then there’s a sound that morphs, unexplainably, from a gutteral chant to a buzzing, swooping choir. It all comes from one voice — that of Anne Rhodes, performing as Red Rainbow. That voice seems infinitely flexible as Rhodes manipulates it. Sounds seem to come out of nowhere. But they’re really the product of a lifetime of singing, and of Rhodes pushing herself always to find out what she can do musically, to do it, and then to do more.

The Crosscultural Significance of Ornette Coleman 

Source: JazzTimes.

Ornette Coleman’s early work hit some of his contemporaries—Paul Bley, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Giuffre—with great force. This music set off or encouraged subsequent movements in free or experimental jazz, particularly in Chicago and Europe. Coleman’s handling of melodic improvisation and group arrangement has inspired Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Branford Marsalis, Ethan Iverson, and many others in jazz. It has also inspired, perhaps less directly but no less profoundly, all kinds of other self-starters and outliers. The plaintive, aggrieved rasp Bob Dylan used on tour in front of his electric band in 1966 could have come from lots of places, but something tells me it came from here. A lot of post-punk was a loose translation of an impulse that began with this music; there is a post-Coleman aesthetic line in it that includes the Pop Group, the Slits, the Raincoats, V-Effect, the Minutemen, and the ongoing work of Neneh Cherry, daughter of Don Cherry.

Devin Gray Interview

Source: Jazz Right Now.

Originally from Maine, drummer Devin Gray has been active in New York City for over a dozen years. His two main projects as a leader have been Dirigo Rataplan, a quartet with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, trumpeter Dave Ballou, and bassist Michael Formanek, and RelativE ResonancE, a quartet with reedist Chris Speed, pianist Kris Davis, and bassist Chris Tordini. He has also been a driving figure in the collaborative experimental music performance group VAX, together with keyboardist Liz Kosack and saxophonist Patrick Breiner.