Notebook reviews by Tom Hull

CF 272Sophie Agnel/John Edwards/Steve Noble: Meteo (CF 272)
Pianist, b. 1964 in Paris; tenth album since 2000, a trio with Edwards on bass and Noble on drums. Free, the piano often lurking as bass and drums set up a forest of uncertainty, but very impressive when it all comes crashing together. B+(***)

CF 276Harris Eisenstadt September Trio – The Destructive Element (CF 276)
Drummer, b. 1975 in Toronto, father was also a drummer; has been prolific since 2002 — AMG lists 14 records, one (looks like) a dupe, but hasn’t logged this one yet. One of the best of those was his 2011 September Trio with Ellery Eskelin on tenor sax and Angelica Sanchez on piano. Same group here: Eskelin is superb at stepping around the rhythms, while the pianist burns right through them, adding more along the way. A-

CF 271Ellery Eskelin/Susan Alcorn/Michael Formanek: Mirage (CF 271): Tenor sax, pedal steel guitar, bass. Main mystery here is Alcorn, who has an album with Dr. Eugene Chadbourne titled An Afternoon in Austin, or Country Music for Harmolodic Souls (Boxholder; I haven’t heard it). She’s hard to follow here, merging into the bass and rarely coming out. Eskelin responds with ballad volume, but with no one offering him a groove he has to tiptoe around the uncertainty. B+(**)

CF 275Lama + Chris Speed – Lamaçal (CF 275)
Live at Portalegre Jazz Fest, they say “10o edition” but mean 2012. Speed, who should need no intro, plays tenor sax and clarinet. Lama is a trumpet trio led by Susana Santos Silva, with Gonçalo Almeida on bass and Greg Smith on drums, both also dabbling in electronics, and this is their second album. A little slow on the start, but when the horns get working they bounce off one another splendidly. B+(***)

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade to Break – Provoke (CF 273)
Ken Vandermark group, with V5 drummer Tim Daisy, Devin Hoff on electric bass, and Christof Lurzmann on “lloopp” — a free software package for live-improvising on a computer. Three longish (19, 20, 24 minutes) Vandermark pieces, dedications to John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, and Marshall McLuhan. The electronics have some difficulty gaining traction, and never amount to more than background, so this reduces to Vandermark’s performance: a little screechy on clarinet, but a powerhouse on tenor sax. Group also has a new LP (vinyl only) called Lacerba, which I didn’t get. B+(***)

CF 269Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee – Human Encore (CF 269)
Trespass Trio is Martin Küchen (alto/baritone sax), Per Zanussi (bass), and Raymond Strid (drums). They’re one of several groups I file under Küchen, their two previous albums less successful than the larger Angles. McPhee, a double threat on tenor sax and pocket trumpet — split here is 5 cuts to 4 — plays with everyone, often blowing them away. He doesn’t do that here, perhaps because Küchen doesn’t challenge him; they just negotiate odd angles, as they are wont to do. B+(**)
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