The Squid’s Ear Reviews

The latest reviews from the Squid’s Ear:

Kullhammar / Osgood / Vagan – Andratx Live
Evan Parker – Saxophone Solos
Molly Berg & Stephen Vitiello – The Gorilla Variations
Dan Warburton – Profession Reporter
Indigo Trio – Anaya
Agusti Fernandez – Un Llamp Que no S’acaba Mai

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Magnus Broo in Chicago

From Post No Bills:

Broo is one of Sweden’s most skilled and flexible horn men, a guy rooted in the fundamentals of the American jazz tradition (he studied at the University of Texas during the 80s). His early work reveals a more straight-ahead sensibility, but since cofounding Atomic in 1999 and serving a stint in the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet–filling in for trombonist Bishop during the period he retired from music due to hearing issues–he’s opened up his playing and become much more daring. On Lorena–which features six original pieces, including three by Broo–his bold, blustery playing seethes with a muscular melodocism, ripping through tricky, rhythmically complex themes (which set up provocative platforms for improvisation), then busting out with endless streams of lyrical elaboration.

Broo will be busy over the next four nights. Tomorrow he’ll join excellent Dutch group Trio Braam de Joode Vatcher at Elastic and on Friday and Saturday he and pianist Wiik (who also plays in Atomic) will participate in the Vandermark 5 Special Edition at the Green Mill. Ken Vandermark has created new arrangements of some older V5 material and written some new pieces to accommodate these two excellent guests. The performances will be recorded for later release.

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New CD From Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings Coming September 15th

From Improvised Communications:

On September 15th, Firehouse 12 Records will release Madeleine Dreams (FH12-04-01-011), the second recording from cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum’s improvising chamber ensemble, SpiderMonkey Strings. The seven year-old group features Kyoko Kitamura (voice), Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Jessica Pavone (viola), Tomas Ulrich (cello), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Joseph Daley (tuba) and Luther Gray (drums).

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Canid / Layne Garrett / Insert Factory in DC Tonite

From Sonic Circuits:

Tuesday June 16
Doors 730pm Music 8pm SHARP
8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910
located three blocks south of the silver spring metro station (red line)
Free parking in gated lot out front

Benefit for new PA system!

As Canid I work with a setup which has, at its core, a multi-effects box, a mixer, several effects pedals, a small electronic keyboard, a volume pedal, and microphone. It has also included contact mics, jawharp, melodica, drums, hand percussion, slide whistle, feedback loops, radio talk shows, and others’ voices.

Layne Garrett creates free folk, free improv from homemade instruments/sculptures.

Insect Factory is as quiet as sleep itself. Drones so soft and delicate, that they hardly exist, instead are merely imagined. Or they can rattle your balls.

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Free Jazz Blog Reviews

American drummer Jim Black, performing with th...
Image via Wikipedia

From Free Jazz:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Double Double Bass

Sunday, June 7, 2009
Jon Irabagon & Mike Pride – I Hear Nothin’ But The Blues (Loyal, 2009) ****
Ellery Eskelin, with Andrea Parkins & Jim Black – One Great Night … Live (Hat Hut, 2009) ****½

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Hugh Hopper

I haven’t confirmed this yet, but the word is out that bassist Hugh Hopper, most known for his stint with Soft Machine, passed away yesterday. I’ll update this post once the news is properly sourced.

The message boards have been buzzing with the news of Hugh’s passing, and his Wikipedia entry has been updated to mark his death. Sad news.

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AMN Picks General

AMN Picks of the Week

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Don’t take the categories too seriously.

Knifeladder – Music/Concrete (2009, dark ambient)
Yitzhak Yedid – Since My Soul Loved (2009, composed jazz)
Pseudo – Gnostic Guitar I (2007, solo guitar and electronics)
Pseudo – Gnostic Guitar II (2008, solo guitar and electronics)
Fred Frith – Still Urban (2009, classical / improv)
TD Black Sun – Bad Dreams of The Gloomy Girl (2007, dark ambient)
simakDialog – Demi Masa (2009, world / jazz / improv)

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New on Moon June Records

Moon June Records has a number of new releases out.

COPERNICUS – Disappearance

The longtime musical director of Copernicus’ assemblage is the Irish keyboardist and composer Pierce Turner, long resident in New York City. His fellow countryman, Black 47 leader Larry Kirwan is one of the album’s four guitarists, along with Mike Fazio, César Aragundi and Bob Hoffnar. Other musicians appearing on the album are: Raimundo Penaforte (violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals), Fred Parcells (trombone), Rob Thomas (violin), Matty Fillou (sax), Marvin Wright (electric bass guitar and additional electric guitar), George Rush (tuba, acoustic and electric bass), Thomas Hamlin (drums & percussion) and Mark Brotter (drums & percussion).

Is Copernicus celebrating The Universe, or observing its collapse? This ageless sage orates like a windswept preacher who has just witnessed visions of the apocalypse. Turner is rolling out swathes of Gothic Hammond organ, leading the ensemble in their surging accumulations. A bassline walk begins, a slide guitar floats, a trombone starts up its funereal sway. Copernicus declaims, and almost rants. He’s taking things (matter) to the precipice, as he deals with the nature of subatomic particles. A chorus of voices from the band fill the edges around the congregation’s void. Does Copernicus herald doom or salvation?


Here are two artists who share a profound facility for refined versatility. Each of them has built up a career around several varied (yet complementary) disciplines, quite possibly ensnaring completely different audiences on different days of the week. The Italian singer Boris Savoldelli teeters perfectly between a true pop sensibility and an anarchic improvisational wildness. He can craft overdubbed layers of sheer melodic charm, forging an experimental approachability, or he can cast off all inhibitions and launch into the completely unshackled heights of free-form spontaneity. This is a man who is comfortable with the advanced avant garde techniques of diplophony, triplophony, flutophony and criptomelody! In Italy, Savoldelli studied operatic vocal techniques with Simona Marcello and, more recently, in New York, he’s refined his art with singers Jay Clayton and Mark Murphy. Savoldelli is also a member of the innovative avant jazz-rock combo SADO, and released the acclaimed solo album Insanology in 2008. This was a feast of inspired vocal-orchestral loop-layering, featuring a guest appearance by US guitarist Marc Ribot. Elliott Sharp is also a multi-faceted player, his guitar masterfully extending along the perimeters of jazz, improvisation, electronica, rock’n’roll, rarefied new music composition and the grime-slogging blues. All of these zones are inhabited with complete confidence and virtuoso wit. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he’s long been identified with the eclectic downtown scene of New York City. Mainly known as an electric and acoustic guitarist, Sharp is also highly articulate on his armoury of reed instruments (saxophone, clarinet), as well as screaming out with the sliding strings of his trusty pedal steel guitar.

simakDIALOG – Demi Masa

This is the fifth album from Indonesian progressive jazz ensemble simakDialog. Led by keyboardist and composer Riza Arshad, the band also features guitarist Tohpati and bassist Adhitya Pratama, working alongside the twinned percussion thrust of Endang Ramdan and Erlan Suwardana. This latter pair are specialists in traditional Sundanese kendang drumming. Arshad’s compositional approach opens up from a jazz-rock palette, but his Fender Rhodes electric piano is clearly influenced by the crisp ring and shimmer of the Indonesian gamelan’s array of gongs, metallophones and double-headed drums. We can immediately hear the similarities between the keyboard’s percussive crackle and the sharp detonations of tunefully struck metal. The percussionists soon enter, clattering out their heavily organic patterns with roundly slapped skins, shaker bells and handclaps. Arshad frequently pushes his solos (or are they ongoing themes?) up to continually higher levels, urging repeated climaxes as each piece steadily amasses intensity. Tohpati is also attracted to resonant trebly zones, journeying from acoustic delicacy to a subtly distorted friction. The guitarist’s presence has a significance beyond his role on this album, as Tohpati is one of the Indonesian music scene’s most successful (and ubiquitous) players. Another element is tipped in later, with the percussionists chanting along to emphasise their dense structures. Arshad might recline in a hazy contemplation, but it doesn’t take him long to develop an insistent pulse, invariably reaching a frenzied state. There’s a clear recalling of the classic moves made by Chick Corea and Terje Rypdal in the 1970s, but this is laced with authentic gamelan elements utilised as part of this jazz-rock vocabulary. The result sounds both natural and fully integrated. This a particular realm that couldn’t be reached either by Western progressives or a traditional gamelan ensemble. The simakDialog involves a unique combination of both spheres, without making the commercially tempting mistake of cultural dilution.

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Urs Leimbruber, Peter Evans and Okkyung Lee at Roulette

From New York’s Roulette:

Thu Jun 11 – 8:30 PM

Urs Leimgruber’s mastery of the saxophone is so protean you could easily be fooled into thinking you are listening to a whole range of other instruments. He produces drum beats, the sound of guitars or the echoing resonnance of gongs at will. His playing seems almost de-instrumentalized, free of any implicit meaning and, despite its complexity, almost unexpectedly stark. Sound in its purest state. The ten pieces here sound like a manifesto set to music, an audible thumprint, a soundcard with a unique code that only responds to the personal breath of the artist.“ Bert Noglik, CD Blue Log Leipzig.

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Muhal Richard Abrams One of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that Abrams is one of its 2010 honorees.

The co-founder and first president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), pianist Muhal Richard Abrams is highly respected by critics and musical peers as both a pianist and composer in a variety of musical styles.

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