Releases Reviews

DMG Newsletter May 15th, 2009

From DMG:

John Zorn’s Love Songs! Wadada Leo Smith & Jack DeJohnette! Hilmar Jensson’s Tyft Qnt! Brotzmann/Kondo/Pupillo/Nilssen-Love! Ikue Mori! Centazzo with Derek Bailey/E#/Henry Kaiser et al! Rob Brown! Joe Morris! Irabagon/Pride! Upsilon Acrux! 2 from Elliott Sharp! Alberto Braida!

Louie Belogenis/Karl Berger Old Dog! Profound Sound: Dunmall/Grimes/Cyrille! Taylor/Dunmall Circuit Ensemble! 2nd KTU: Pohjonen/Gunn/Mastelotto! Gjerstad/Edwards/Sanders!

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General Reviews

David S. Ware Update

The Chicago Reader discusses Ware’s recent release as well as his kidney operation.

In January powerhouse saxophonist David S. Ware released Shakti (Aum Fidelity), his 23rd album as a bandleader, recorded in May 2008 following a European tour. It was his first new studio disc since 2003, and on it he debuted a superb group with guitarist Joe Morris, drummer Warren Smith, and longtime bassist William Parker. Though Ware’s muscular tone and rigorous style of post-Sonny Rollins motific exploration remained intact, the band as a whole sounded markedly different than the quartet he’d led for the previous 17 years.

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The Squid’s Ear Reviews

From the Squid’s Ear:

Sun Ra – Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold
Pat Thomas – Plays the music of Derek Bailey and Thelonious Monk
Okkyung Lee, Peter Evans, Steve Beresford – Check for Monsters
David S. Ware – Shakti
Jamie Saft – Black Shabbis

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AUM Fidelity To Release Joe Morris / Petr Cancura / Luther Gray’s Wildlife July 14th

From Improvised Communications:

AUM Fidelity is proud to announce the July 14th release of Wildlife (AUM056), the debut recording from the new collective ensemble of the same name featuring Joe Morris on bass, Petr Cancura on alto and tenor saxophones and frequent Morris collaborator Luther Gray on drums. Conceived by Morris, the trio’s acclaimed elder statesman, Wildlife features four collectively improvised tracks that defy expectation with their cohesive structure and warm, inviting sound.

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Riti Records

Aum Fidelity is now distributing releases from Riti. Some newish releases below.


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Dusted Reviews

From Dusted:

Artist: Andrea Parkins
Album: Faulty (Broken Orbit)
Label: Important
Review date: Apr. 15, 2009

Artist: Yoshie Fruchter
Album: Pitom
Label: Tzadik
Review date: Apr. 15, 2009

Artist: Joe Morris
Album: MVP LSD
Label: Riti
Review date: Apr. 9, 2009

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Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone’s Thin Air Released

From Improvised Communications:

Thin Air, the third recording from the duo of guitarist Mary Halvorson and violist Jessica Pavone, is out on Thirsty Ear Recordings’ The Blue Series, curated by Matthew Shipp.

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Bagatellen Reviews

Barre Phillips, 2008, moers festival
Image via Wikipedia

From Bagatellen:

phroq [x 2]

In his recent review of a Daniel Jones / David Papapostolou disc for Signal To Noise, Brian Marley refers to EAI as a “fading genre of improvised music.” It’s a curious quote, and for reasons that go beyond breakdowns of the troublesome necessity to assign labels. Statements such as this are faithful cause for […]

Joe Morris/Barre Phillips – Elm City Duets 2006 (Clean Feed)

This one is an incredible meeting between Joe Morris — here exclusively on acoustic guitar — and one of his musical heroes, contrabassist Barre Phillips. It had been a while since I’d heard anything from either musician, and this record is quite simply a beaut. It’s the kind of thing that actually restores my faith […]

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Jazz Listings From the New York Times

From the Times:

MICHAEL MUSILLAMI TRIO + 3 (Saturday) Michael Musillami, a guitarist firmly entrenched in the contemporary avant-garde, unveils material from a forthcoming release, featuring not only his working trio but also the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, the multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich and the vibraphonist Matt Moran. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village, (212) 989-9319,; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum.

SEAN NOONAN (Monday) Mr. Noonan, a drummer and composer drawn to global fusions, celebrates the release of his new album, “Boxing Dreams” (Songlines), with some help from the guitarist Aram Bajakian and the bassist Tim Dahl. At 9:30 p.m., Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, East Village, (212) 539-8778,; cover, $12 in advance; $15 at the door, with a two-drink minimum. (Chinen)

EIVIND OPSVIK OVERSEAS (Sunday) Eivind Opsvik is a bassist with an experimental streak but also a deep connection to melody, as he demonstrates with this working band, which includes Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone, Jacob Sacks on keyboards and Kenny Wollesen on drums. At 9:30 p.m., 55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, West Village, (212) 929-9883,; cover, $10. (Chinen)

PETE ROBBINS (Sunday and Thursday) Mr. Robbins, an alto saxophonist, works with two different groups in the coming week, each an outlet for his progressive whims. On Sunday he leads Silent Z, an electro-acoustic band that includes Jesse Neuman on trumpet and electronics, Mike Gamble on guitar, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Then on Thursday he teams up with Mr. Sorey and the bassist Mario Pavone for a more freeform trio exchange. Sunday at 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village, (212) 989-9319,; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. Thursday at 8 p.m., Dakar Café, 285 Grand Street, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, (718) 398-8900,; suggested donation, $5. (Chinen)

MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO (Tuesday) “Harmonic Disorder” (Thirsty Ear), an intriguing new album by Matthew Shipp, puts his shape-shifting pianism in contact with a rhythm section consisting of Joe Morris on bass and Whit Dickey on drums. They’re regrouping here to celebrate the album’s release. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, (212) 576-2232,; cover, $20.

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New From HatHut Records

New releases on HatHut:

hat(now)ART 141
Christian Wolff
Early Piano Pieces
Steffen Schleiermacher

Total time 73:06, DDD, Barcode: 752156014126

For Prepared Piano (1951) was my first experiment with John Cage’s invention (putting various objects into the piano strings to produce percussive or non-specifically pitched sounds) and a continuation of interest in percussion as such. I had been a friend of John’s, after a brief time as a student, for about a year. But I’d known about the prepared piano earlier from scores in Henry Cowell’s New Music Publications. — Christian Wolff

hat(now)ART 149
Transatlantic Swing
John Snijders

Total time 77:30, DDD, Barcode: 752156014928

Transatlantic Swing is a CD of music rich in elusive connections. Some of the music is ‘transatlantic’ because it’s music by Europeans influenced by the Americas, some because it’s music by an American played by a European. In some way all the music ‘swings’, but no two pieces swing in the same way.There’s also a network of friendships between the composers represented here, although together they don’t represent any one tendency in contemporary musical aesthetics. And there’s a network of shared preoccupations in the music here – the balance between process and fantasy in musical form, the dynamics of sound and silence, the reconfiguration of popular music – but not all these preoccupations occur in every piece. — Christopher Fox

hatOLOGY 657
Clusone 3
Soft Lights And Sweet Music
(Irving Berlin Songbook)

Total time 62:20, DDD, Barcode: 752156065722

Musicians play Irving Berlin because he makes them sound good. The pretty songs make you sound poetic just reading; the tapinflected songs Astaire introduced will bring out your swing if you have any. So what you get with Irving Berlin is melody so strong and self-supporting it keeps its integrity, no matter how stretched or yanked from context. And you get music so common, to America and to jazz at least, musicians may make free with it without losing you. You have, in short, perfect fodder for Clusone 3 – which they knew even before they were approached about doing an unspecified concept album.
While feasting on the individual selections, please note how nicely programmed this disc is. As live, Clusone 3 cut the wide open stuff with tight swingers. You can argue for cosmic implications: the music expands and contracts like the universe. Or you can just say the rhythm’s as natural as breathing: in, out, in, out. — Kevin Whitehead

hatOLOGY 663
Steve Lantner Quartet
Given – Live In Münster

Total time 47:30, DDD, Barcode: 752156066323

Given – Live In Münster, is the Steve Lantner Quartet’s second effort. Its sax-piano-bass-drums line-up invites weight against the measure of classic albums like Misterioso, Black Fire, Giant Steps, and Saxophone Colossus on the one hand, and thousands of rote quartet recordings on the other. Lantner’s contribution falls on the right end of the spectrum by doing exactly what a jazz album must in order to justify its carbon footprint in the 21st Century; it presents a vivid impression of a singular musician with a strong band moving the music forward. Or as Lantner puts it, «I am trying to play jazz music in a language that I think is a natural evolution past tonal/modal sensibilities.» — Bill Meyer

hatOLOGY 670
Joe Morris Bass Quartet
High Definition

Total time 53:25, DDD, Barcode: 752156067023

Listen to the music of Joe Morris and one is immediately struck by a few things. First, there is his sense of rhythmic and melodic articulation; a sense of phrasing brimming with potent energy and focused resolve. Then there is an uncanny ability to balance freedom and groove. Finally, there is his ability to pull it all together in structures that bring out particularly inspired playing by his collaborators…
With this release, Morris and crew cement their status as musicians from a generation who have fully absorbed a polyglot view of the jazz tradition. They have the commitment, experience, and the innate understanding to seamlessly pull from both inside and outside, from swing to freedom. But they also have the dedication and creativity to make it their own. It is how they pull to gether all these disparate threads into a unified vocabulary indelibly stamped with their own sensibilities and personalities that makes this such a riveting statement. — Michael Rosenstein

hatOLOGY 675
Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet
Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths

Total time 44:15 DDD, Barcode: 75215606758

Here’s a group of musicians who are making a commitment to the long haul. They are creating music for the third millennium that is savvy enough to draw on the forking paths of the tradition while finding room for their own individual voices. Get Bynum started on this group and he responds with his usual enthusiastic eloquence. «Whatever balance I am able to strike between tradition and individuality I really owe to the nurturing community of musicians I came up under.» This set is a tribute to that journey. — Michael Rosenstein

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