music blog

Category Archives: avantgarde jazz

Kris Davis – piano
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor saxophone
Tyshawn Sorey – drums

FLAC | 337 MB | UL | TB


There may not be a more creative group of artists anywhere within the boundaries of any art form than those within the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet. These are individuals that comprehensively understand their responsibility to art and it is only through this level of integrity and creativity that art can, and will continue to move forward. Thus, it is completely mystifying and disheartening that this group of brilliant artists from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Chicago and New York remain relatively unknown outside of avant-garde circles. They have created their own dimensions of sound, their own sonority of power and intensity, with shapes of silence that collide and separate at varying levels of speed and measurements of time. They have not introduced a new language as much as they invent new universes within fields of time and space through intellect, passion and importantly, attitude.

mp3 320 kbps | 215 MB | UL | TB


Annie Gosfield, combines acoustic and electronic sounds. On her latest record, “Almost Truths and Open Deceptions,” just out on Tzadik Records, she combines piano with samples of detuned and prepared piano, a grinding cement mixer, the howl of a malfunctioning shortwave radio, and a mixed din of tube noise and other failing technologies.

mp3 320 kbps | 139 MB | UL | FD


A core member of Secret Chiefs 3 and the leader of the exciting West Coast ensemble Estradasphere, Timba Harris is a composer and multi instrumentalist of great passion and skill. His first Tzadik CD is a remarkable extended composition about the environment we live in. A fascinating mix of genres, Timba blends choral music with strings and electronics to create a true orchestral sweep.

mp3 320 kbps | 103 MB | UJ | FD | UL


The 19th installment in John Zorn’s Masada Book 2: The Book of Angels is a doozy. As with the rest of the series, these are Zorn pieces given to an extraordinary talent (or set of talents) to perform, re-imagine, or demolish, and acoustic/electric bassist and oudist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz has done all three with his batch of songs.Blumenkranz, part of New York’s vibrant “experimental” scene, here performs on the gimbri, a three-stringed Middle Eastern bass lute. He’s essential to the material, which is a hearty dose of Jewish progressive rock, but his collaborators do their best to steal the show.Kenny Grohowski is an absolute madman behind the drum kit, unleashing maelstroms of double-bass blasts and triplets and frenetic, unyielding drum fills. The guitarists are masters unto themselves — check out Aram Bajakian’s Kef and Eyal Maoz’s Edom if you get the chance — and their intonations are very bit as vital as their technical abilities.Outside of the “ritualistic Jewish rock” tag that comes with Zorn and his cohorts, the obvious comparison here is one to prog-fusion giants such as Mahavishnu Orchestra. But particularly with the percussion, there’s a much more frantic, metallic, Zach Hill-ish vibe, and Abraxas will appeal to progressive ears new and old.

Flac | 290 MB | UJ | UL


Personnel:

Xavier Charles – clarinet, harmonica
Ivar Grydeland – electric guitar, banjo, sruti
Christian Wallumrød – prepared piano, harmonium
Ingar Zach – gran cassa, percussion

mp3 320 kbps | 203 MB | UJ


There really is something wonderful and awe-inspiring about a great pipe organ. As one of John Zorn’s initial instruments, he clearly appreciates the organ’s potential power. After years as a saxophonist, composer, arranger and producer, Zorn returned to the instrument in 2011. This didn’t happen through the organ setting on a digital keyboard; this sonic homecoming happened on actual cathedral pipe organs. Zorn performed a series of concerts in American and European churches. Out of these live performances, “The Hermetic Organ” represents the culmination of this musical mood with a concert at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. Stylistically, the organ improvisation fits in well with the ‘avant-garde/experimental’ descriptor given to so much of his music. While ya know that it’s pipe organ music, you also know enough about John Zorn to appreciate that it’s not going to sound like a Sunday Mass.

mp3 320 kbps | 84 MB | UJ | TB


Cosa Brava is an experimental rock and improvisation quartet formed in March 2008 by multi-instrumentalist and composer Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog), they released ‘Ragged Atlas’ in 2010 and now follow this with ‘The Letter’.

“Cosa Brava is about storytelling. I don’t think about it too much. It just turned out that way. Some of the stories have words and some don’t, but they share a sense of scenes glimpsed in passing. Torn photos, fragments of movies, distant shouts. One of my earliest memories is of a long drive north, as our family moved away from London to start a new life in the Yorkshire dales. I remember the smell of the car, and passing our broken down removals lorry in the middle of night. I was four years old, and sometimes it feels like I’ve been on the road ever since. I need to travel, and now my life depends on it, so there’s never a shortage of stories. The musicians of Cosa Brava are fellow nomads and experienced collaborators, and some of the best storytellers around, so my stories also become their stories. It’s been an exhilarating journey, and I still have no idea where we’re going. In the end it doesn’t seem very important.“ Fred Frith, February 2012, Liner Notes

mp3 320 kbps | 144 MB | DF


The sixth installment in John Zorn’s Moonchild series centers around the mysterious, monastic cult of warriors known as the Knights Templar, who were established and recognized by the Catholic Church somewhere near 1128 and were excommunicated by Pope Clement V in 1312 for heresy (allegedly for overtly worshipping Baphomet, i.e. Satan). While the Moonchild trio has been a constant — vocalist Mike Patton, drummer Joey Baron, and bassist Trevor Dunn — they have been augmented from time to time. Here, John Medeski’s organ makes them a quartet and it’s a nice touch; Zorn’s music for this cycle, while full of dynamic bursts of rock, jazz, and avant power, also evokes Roman Catholic liturgical music to great effect. Medeski’s presence here paints moods and themes (check “Prophetic Souls”) beautifully as Baron and Dunn create necessary architectures of dynamic tension and drama. Patton, however, has never been better than he is here. From taut spoken word narratives, hair-raising screaming, baritone murmurs, whispers, and even layered Gregorian chants (“Murder of the Magicians,” which melds it to Morricone-esque spaghetti western music); he is a formidable catalyst for these proceedings. Another example is “Libera Me,” where he uses a rather astonishing array of skills in one track. As such, of all the Moonchild releases, Templars: In Sacred Blood, is easily the most accessible, although relatively dark, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Even Zorn’s lyrics are among the most poetic he’s ever written; they follow a loose trajectory of historical and spiritual themes and still offer nods to his acidic sense of humor. His compositions are tight; they rarely give into the excesses that some of the other Moonchild projects have almost gleefully wallowed in. Templars: In Sacred Blood is a blast from top to bottom.

mp3 320 kbps | 99 MB | DF


Matana Roberts,alto sax & vocals
Mazz Swift,violin
Jessica Pavone,viola
Audrey Chen,cello
Jason Ajemian,bass
Tomas Fujiwara,drums

mp3 320 kbps | 151 MB | FSo | US


The RED Trio is a free-jazz group based in Lisbon, made up of Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, Hernani Faustino on bass and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums and percussion. For their second album they had the good fortune to welcome a special guest, British saxophonist John Butcher, a revered figure in the European free-improvisation scene. This collaboration works very well, through an album of increasingly lengthy tracks, the group melds its musical minds to collectively explore the far reaches of free-jazz and improvised music.

mp3 320 kbps | 217 MB | FSo | US


Personnel:

Natsuki Tamura: trumpet
Curtis Hasselbring: trombone
Satoko Fujii: piano
Andrea Parkins: accordion
mp3 320 kbps | 115 MB | UL

It is not overstatement to say that any project associated with John Zorn’s Masada ensemble, an acoustic jazz quartet that marries Klezmer themes to free-jazz adventurousness, is worth hearing, and will most likely be excellent. This is certainly the case with this album of solo guitar performances of Zorn’s Masada compositions. The pieces showcase the virtuoso skills of three of modern music’s most individual six-string talents: Bill Frisell, Tim Sparks, and Marc Ribot, each of whom take turns offering meticulous, passionate readings of Zorn’s charts.

mp3 320 kbps | 170 MB | WU | FSo | ES


Cory Wright – clarinets
John Finkbeiner – electric guitar
Tim Perkis – electronics
Kjell Nordeson – vibraphone & percussion
Lisa Mezzacappa – double bass
mp3 VBR~197 kbps | 65 MB | WU | FSo | ES

The RED Trio is a free-jazz group based in Lisbon, made up of Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, Hernani Faustino on bass and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums and percussion. For their second album they had the good fortune to welcome a special guest, British saxophonist John Butcher, a revered figure in the European free-improvisation scene. This collaboration works very well, through an album of increasingly lengthy tracks, the group melds its musical minds to collectively explore the far reaches of free-jazz and improvised music.

mp3 320 kbps | 217 MB | FSo | WU



Personnel:

Mark Feldman: violin

Sylvie Courvoisier: piano

Thomas Morgan: bass

Gerry Hemingway: drums


mp3 VBR~224 kbps | 113 MB | FSo |
WU


Bill Dixon was one of the most creative, influential and distinguished of musicians, composers, bandleaders and teachers to emerge from the sixties progressive jazz scene. After a handful of important records in the late sixties, Mr. Dixon continued to compose, and began teaching from the seventies onwards but recorded rarely.  For the past decade Mr. Dixon had garnered more recognition, playing at the Vision Festival on several occasions and releasing a handful of important discs.Besides Mr. Dixon, whose solo was pre-recorded, the piece “Envoi” Section I & II featured four other great brassmen, each on cornet &/or flugelhorn: Stephen Haynes, Taylor Ho Bynum, Rob Mazurek & Graham Haynes. Each one unique and a leader on their own. Each cornetist got a chance to solo while the rest of the ensemble played intricate parts underneath. The rest of the ensemble featured Glynis Loman on cello, Michel Côté on contrabass clarinet, Ken Filiano on contrabass and Warren Smith on vibes, percussion & drums.This piece was composed and directed by Mr. Dixon and it is quite extraordinary. The piece unfolds slowly with orchestral harmonies for the brass, eerie contrabass clarinet, simmering cello & acoustic bass and selective percussion. “Envoi” is Bill Dixon’s final masterwork and a most fitting conclusion to lifelong career of various musical heights.

mp3 320 kbps | 110 MB | FSo | WU

 


With a combination of traditional fusion and a modern rock aesthetic, Nucleon are building an exciting book of material that we should really take note of. Nucleon forged on and created the beautiful, Fitoplankton, an album that explodes through the speakers with vibrancy and urgency. With a sound that is reminiscent of King Crimson, Headhunters, Last Exit and ironically, Nucleus, Nucleon is that “something different” you’ve been looking for the last couple of weeks.

mp3 224 kbps | 67 MB | WU | FSo


Lucas Nggli has rebuild BIG ZOOM. Two experienced improvisators of great reputation, the English bassist Barry Guy and the American flutist Anne La Berge joined the regulars Philipp Schaufelberger (electric guitar) and Nils Wogram (trombone). “I wanted to have distinct characters”, Niggli justified his choice. After extremely working on sheet music with the Arte Quartett Niggli pushed back to freedom, embracing a concept that gives more room to improvisation and tonality of the E-music avant-garde without disposing of the eloquence and refinement of the virtuoso jazz playing Schaufelberger and Wogram are so experienced in.

mp3 VBR~197 kbps | 82 MB | FSo | WU | ES