Monthly Archives: April 2010

Cadence Magazine review by Grego Applegate Edwards

Luis Lopes / Adam Lane / Igal Foni – What is When (CF 146)
“What is When” is a rather exceptional guitar trio. Guitarist Luis Lopes is a new one for me and he is a player of great interest. He tends to play on the outside and alternates between a dryly electric and a high impact straight tone. Beefheartian guitarists, Sharrock in his early period and Ulmer in his outer moments are touch points in describing his style, but only as rough approximation, for he has a distinct bag. Adam Lane goes far in making this a formidable lineup. Arco or pizzicato, he makes a strong contribution with his all-over playing attack and keen sense of drama and momentum. The drummer is new to me but is very musical and capable of Free Swing-Rock inflected outness and open-timed assaults with definite taste. The pieces have good variety and nothing comes near to outwearing its welcome. Some could even have been expanded without undue wear and tear on the listening ear. Just a couple of highlights will suffice to give you an idea of the music. Take “The Siege.” It begins with bass and distorted guitar doing some original sounding, abstract but Rock fused motifs that the drums follow. Then the guitar gets out in a fanfarish, notely way while Lane’s bass blasts a distorted line that has deep resonance and the drums freely rock without a beat or pulse. This is powerful. Now Adam goes it alone with distorted chaos and really digs into it. Then back to the head while Lane flips out! “ChiChi Rides the Tiger” has a swinging head with a densely rhythmic, minor bluesy line all participate in, then a funky riff in seven and off to a guitar solo against the riff for the bass and drums. Lopes plays some nice guitar. He’s not big on chops but what he plays is right and conceptually out with Rock overtones and a dry distortion. I’d much rather hear that than just super technique for its own sake. He’s got big ears and plays out in interesting ways—with distorted chords and bends while bass and drums rock out boisterously in seven. The piece signs off with some vintage Hendrix-like feedback. The album concludes dramatically with a blazing Adam Lane in “Perched Upon An Electric Wire.” It’s Lane alone, riveting the listener with a strongly droned bass sawing. It is a stunner of an ending. This is very easy to recommend. What is When is a cornerstone release among the outside guitar trios I’ve heard of late.
©Cadence Magazine 2010


Cadence Magazine review by Jason Bivins

Trespass Trio – …was there to illuminate the night sky (CF 149)
On “…Was There to Illuminate the Night Sky” he realizes a gorgeous combination of the folkish themes EC often explores and the relative minimalism of his other interests. From the somber and quavering sounds on the opener, you know it’s a distinctive trip, borne on washes of sound from Zanussi’s groaning bass, Kuchen’s baritone, and Strid’s swells. On subsequent tunes, they seem to sound almost like their key interest is recognizing the explosive passions at the heart of the music and seeing how long they can restrain themselves from giving vent. Hear this in the slight throb and multi-directional patter of “Sad salsa,” and the furtive, skulking “Walking the Dead” (with a nice longtone, cymbal sizzle at the end). But the muscular bustle of “Zanussi times”—with lusty alto—will please with its continuously changing rhythms. On the two incendiary versions of the title track, it’s a real kick to enjoy the mix of big rubbery lines from the bassist and tight, focused incisions from Kuchen (who is as likely to alter his tone and articulation as he is to respond in lockstep to rhythmic herky-jerk). Great stuff.
©Cadence Magazine 2010

Cadence Magazine review by David Dupont

Steve Swell – Planet Dream (CF 148)
Trombonist Swell’s Planet Dream emphasizes the ensemble. Swell alternates collective improvisations with tracks based on composed themes. And though it’s completely acoustic, there’s plenty of electricity in the proceedings. These are tightly argued discussions. On “Not Necessarily This, Nor That,” cellist Daniel Levin opens with an arco statement that poses a series of questions. Swell and alto saxophonist Rob Brown enter in disputatious moods, and the discussion only grows more pointed, full of rips and snarls, until it seems to exhaust itself. Levin gets the last word. On “#2 of Nine” Brown opens by working a little two-note jump, and Swell answers with the retrograde drop. On the mournful “And Then They Wept,” the trio demonstrate how, even on a collective improvisation, they can phrase together. This session also got me thinking about the way certain turns of phrase—kind of atonal but pulling toward a tonic—start seeming familiar, due to the work of players (including Swell) to refine as well as expand the procedures of Free Jazz. The date opens with a formless passage that the ensemble slowly gives shape to.. And in the middle of Planet Dream Swell drops “Airtight,” a piece that grooves over an Afro-beat ostinato, the Free Jazzer’s equivalent of a medium tempo Blues. That’s not to say anything here sounds stale, just more predictable than maybe I’d expect. And it’s not to say there’s not much that’s fresh within the program. Swell’s searching for new approaches is shown in the closing “Texture #2” which shape shifts every couple minutes or so. Such restlessness fuels Swell and his trio in their fruitful search for new sounds.
©Cadence Magazine 2010

The Wire review by Daniel Spicer

Scott Fields Ensemble – Fugu (CF 171)
Chicago guitarist Scott Fields originally wrote this music to accompany a dance piece and, though it was recorded in 1995, there’s a definite mid-20th century feel to it, redolent of interpretive dance and abstract expressionism. That’s got a lot to do with Robert Stright’s vibraphone – the sound of a wittily raised eyebrow – which can’t help echoing Bobby Hutcherson’s twitchy mallet work on Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch from 1964. The Dolphy comparison also extends to Fields’s spry storytelling, with episodic compositions such as “A Carrot Is A Carrot” unfolding like tartly amusing character studies. There is seriousness here, too, and Matt Turner’s cello – played largely straight and sonorous – lends the pieces a plaintive gravity. When his solos fly off into wilder, free regions, recalling Joel Freedman’s mid-1960s work with Albert Ayler, it’s like a tuxedo being ripped open, Hulk-style, from within.

Clean Feed Fest Chicago May 14th and 15th

Clean Feed Fest – Chicago 2010
May 14th to 15th

Every plant must grow. This year the Clean Feed Festival reaches Chicago after 5 editions in New York. The interest manifested by the New York audiences in relation to the music released, and staged, by the Portuguese jazz label Clean Feed is more than a sufficient motive to want more, and here we are bringing to Windy City a bit of the enthusiasm lived now in Portugal in what concerns jazz and improvised music. The program of this festival may include local Clean Feed musicians but also from New York and Lisbon, with it one can get an idea of the Clean Feed work. With more than 180 titles already released and the fact that Clean Feed was choosed by the online magazine All About Jazz as one of the five more important jazz labels in the world since 2007, this is the right moment to be ambitious. Or even more ambitious than we were when we proposed ourselves in 2006 to organize this event in the capital of jazz. We invite you to join us in this celebration, to enjoy the music and to try some traditional Portuguese products we’re bringing with us specially for you. Yes, jazz comes always with a surprise. Write it in your agenda: May 14th and 15th, Clean Feed will be right at your doorstep.

May 14
The Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington
Preston Bradley Hall
6:30 pm

Set 1: Keefe Jackson Trio “Seeing you See”
Set 2: Kris Davis / Tyshawn Sorey / Ingrid Laubrock “Paradoxical Frog”

Each Set 45 minutes

May 15
The Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington
Claudia Cassidy Theater
6:30 pm

Set 1: Memorize the Sky “In Former Times”
Set 2: Mi 3 “Free Advice”

Each Set 45 minutes

May 14
The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia
9:30 pm

Set 1: Luis Lopes / Josh Abrams / Jeb Bishop
Set 2: Herculaneum “Herculaneum III”

May 15
Heaven Gallery, 1550 N Milwaukee, 2nd Floor
9:30 pm

Set 1: RED Trio + Guest “RED Trio”
Set 2: Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore “Three Less Than Between”
Each Set 50 minutes

Clean Feed Fest NY V May 7th to the 9th at Cornelia Street Cafe

Clean Feed Fest NY V
May 7th  9th

In 2007 Cornelia Street Café had the pleasure of hosting the 2nd Clean Feed Festival and this coming May they will again present the fifth edition of the Festival. There couldn’t be a better venue then the Cornelia Street Café as it is one of the best places in New York for this kind of music. The interest manifested in the four past years by the New York audiences in relation to the music released and staged by the Portuguese jazz label Clean Feed is more than a sufficient motive to keep it going on, and here we are again bringing to the Big Apple a bit of the enthusiasm lived now in Portugal in what concerns to jazz and improvised music. This years program is including local musicians, Portuguese ones (RED Trio and Tetterapadequ), one Belgium Quartet with a very singular singer (Hufflignon), one Swiss/American Quartet leaded by one of the strongest voices on the trombone today (Samuel Blaser Quartet),   a very special trio bringing together a brasilian living in New York for a long time, Ivo Perelman, joined by two of the most interesting string players of the Big Apple, Reuben Radding and Daniel Levin. Finishing the program three bands by some of the strongest names on the scene, Marty Ehrlich’s Rites Quartet exploring Julius Hemphill’s guide lines and music, Tom Rainey and his accolates Mary Halvorson and Ingrid Laubrock, and closing this event we’ll have the great Tony Malaby and his Apparitions quartet.This way one can get an idea of the large Clean Feed roster. With more than 180 titles already released and the fact that Clean Feed was chosen by the online magazine All About Jazz as one of the five more important jazz labels in the world in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and also nominated for the best jazz label of 2008 by the Jazz Journalists Association, this could be a good time for celebration in the world capital of jazz. We invite you to join us in this celebration, to enjoy the music and to try some traditional Portuguese products (wines, cheeses olives and olive oil) we’re bringing with us specially for you. We do want to serve you good music with some portuguese accent. Write it in your agenda: from May 7th to the 9th, Clean Feed will be right at your doorstep at the Cornelia Street Cafe, right in the heart of the Village.

Friday, 7th
8:30 – Peter Van Huffel / Sophie Tassignon “Hufflignon”
Sophie Tassignon – voice
Peter Van Huffel – alto and soprano saxophones
Samuel Blaser – trombone
Michael Bates – bass

9:45 – Ivo Perelman / Daniel Levin / Reuben Radding “Soulstorm”
Ivo Perelman – tenor saxophone
Reuben Radding – double bass
Daniel Levin – cello

11:00 – RED trio + Nate Wooley “RED trio”
Rodrigo Pinheiro – piano
Hernani Faustino – double bass
Gabriel Ferrandini – drums
Nate Wooley – trumpet

Saturday, 8th
8:30 – Samuel Blaser Quartet “Pieces of Old Sky

Samuel Blaser – trombone
Todd Neufeld – guitar
Eivind Opsvik – double bass
Billy Mintz – drums

9:45 – Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet “Things Have Got to Change”
Marty Ehrlich – alto saxophone
James Zollar – trumpet
Erik Friedlander – cello
Michael Sarin – drums

11:00 – Tom Rainey Trio “Pool School”
Tom Rainey – drums
Mary Halvorson – guitar
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor saxophone

Sunday, 9th
8:30 – Tetterapadequ “And the Missing R”

Daniele Martini – tenor saxophone
Giovanni Di Domenico – piano
Gonçalo Almeida – double bass
João Lobo – drums

10:00 – Tony Malaby’s Apparitions “Voladores”
Tony Malaby- tenor and soprano saxophone
Sean Conly – double bass
Tom Rainey – drums
Satoshi Takeishi – drums, percussion

Friday and saturday: $20,00 ($10,00 for one set)
Sunday: $15,00 ($10,00 for one set)
Note: Half of it for Clean Feed artists

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Kirk Knuffke & A Bare-Bones Trumpet, Clarinet, Drum Trio

Kirk Knuffke – Amnesia Brown (CF 167)
Chances are you may not have heard of Kirk Knuffke. He plays a thoughtfully burnished trumpet, puts together some singularly baroque-ish and post-boppish instrumental motifs and has the good idea to form a trio with fellow music-makers Doug Wieselman (on clarinet or guitar) and Kenny Wollesen (on drums) for Amnesia Brown (Clean Feed).

It’s a set of music where the rather naked trio setting gives all concerned plenty of air and aural presence. They take good advantage of the opportunity. Knuffke writes some very interesting lines to frame the improvisations and Wollesen’s drums gently swing or add color as needed. Kirk’s trumpet work is introspective and direct on this date. His sound is bell-like; his note choices well played from the standpoint of gamesmanship as well as execution. Wieselman’s clarinet follows along similar lines and makes for a very appropriate co-frontline voice. His guitar work is filled with loose humor and earthiness.

Amnesia Brown burns and cools alternately. It has a mood that inspires contemplation without stinting on musical content. Certainly recommended.