Daily Archives: January 4, 2013

Jazztime best of 2012 list by Werner Barth

CF 265
Steve Lehman Trio: Dialect Fluorescent (PI-Recordings)
Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction (Blue Note)
Dell-Westgaard-Lillinger feat. John Tchicai: Idem (JW)
Christian Lillinger’s Grund: Second Reason (Clean Feed)
Fly: Year of the Snake (ECM)
Tom Rainey Trio: Camino Cielo Echo (Intakt)
Nabatov-Wogram-Rainey: NAWORA (Leo Records)
Marco von Orelli: Close Ties On Hidden Lanes (HAT)
Rolf & Joachim Kühn Quartett: Lifeline (Impulse)
Gilbert Isbin & Scott Walton: Re Call (pfMentum)


Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

CF 266Eric Revis’ 11:11 – Parallax (CF 266)
Quem conheça o contrabaixista Eric Revis das colaborações com Branford Marsalis e Jeff Watts, estranhará vê-lo neste quarteto 11:11 associado a três estrelas de galáxia bem diversa: Ken Vandermark, Jason Moran e Nasheet Waits.

Mas no jazz as distâncias enganam e o quarteto 11:11 dá boa conta de si. Aliás, é imbatível a gerar malhas rítmicas complexas: escute-se “Edgar”, uma dança hipnótica lançada pelo contrabaixo com arco, “Winnin’ Boy Blues”, com articulação tão intrincada que custa a crer que se trata de uma improvisação colectiva, e “Dark Net, uma composição de Michael Attias. A jóia da coroa é “Split”, um tema de Vandermark em que um groove elástico e saltitante, com precioso contributo de Moran, acaba por converter-se numa obsessão demoníaca.

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

CF 259Angelica Sanchez – Wires & Moss (CF 259)
Se Life Between, o disco anterior do quinteto da pianista Angelica Sanchez, representava uma evolução em relação a Mirror Me, Wires & Moss vai mais longe, superando as oposições entre liberdade e estrutura, jazz e música de câmara, impulso rítmico e fragmentação, tranquilidade e desassossego. Veja-se o caso de “Bushido”, com o piano contemplativo e hierático a articular-se com a vigorosa agitação da guitarra, contrabaixo e bateria.

Embora as intrigantes composições sejam todas de Sanchez, o protagonismo é repartido com Tony Malaby (sax), Marc Ducret (guitarra), Drew Gress (contrabaixo) e Tom Rainey (bateria). Num CD que vale pelo primoroso trabalho de conjunto, vale a pena, ainda assim, destacar os electrizantes solos de Malaby e Ducret em “Loomed”.

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

CF 260Paul Lytton & Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori & Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
Ultra-progressive jazz and avant-garde expressionism are trumpeter Nate Wooley’s toy stores, so to speak. He’s well-established in the modern era’s radical music scene and teams here with venerable Euro-jazz percussionist Paul Lytton, equating to a vivid snapshot of the duo’s 2011 US tour. Brilliant minds think alike, and the proof resides in the multifarious modes of delivery conjured up by these artists. It’s not only about stirring improvisational encounters, because the musicians also sculpture a seemingly endless array of sounds, employing multiphonics and tonal diversions amid moments of anguish, jocularity, and brazen exchanges.

Culled from the duo’s performance at The Stone in New York City, the musicians merge sheets of nimble movements, and use space to counter torrential downpours, often amplified by Wooley’s raspy-toned attack in conjunction with Lytton’s expansive arsenal and fluid pulses. A good deal of the album’s polytonal mechanisms stem from the percussionist’s armada of small implements, used to contour the perimeters of free-form expressionism, rather uncannily mustering a bigger presence, like a jagged histogram with a surfeit of dips and spikes. On “Automatic,” computer sound-shaping denizen Ikue Mori intersperses streaming effects and underlines the asymmetrical rhythmic component with buzzing intersections while generating an amorphous underpinning for her cohorts’ unwieldy dialogues.

Sax ace Ken Vandermark sits in with the duo during the show at Chicago’s Hideout venue, and is as an igniter on three tracks, where doomsday-like notions and a fast and furious chess match come to fruition. But Wooley and Lytton broadcast a myriad of heated developments. Through it all, Lytton’s snappy rhythms and Wooley’s fiery outbursts meld unusual tonal contrasts, brisk accentuations, and strangely ethereal sub-plots. In sum, the musicians project a symposium of fleeting thoughts and emotional upheavals while sustaining interest from beginning to end.

Free Jazz best of 2012 list by every member of the team

End-of-year Lists Galore Allright, here they are then, the albums of the year 2012 as selected by the entire review team of the Free Jazz Collective. Each reviewer presented his (unfortunately not her) list of the ten best albums of the year. Based on the commonalities between those lists, we selected the top-10 that we all favoured.

CF256The Free Jazz Collective Top-10 albums of 2012
Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps
Angles 8 – By Way Of Deception
The Thing With Barry Guy – Metal!
Aram Shelton Quartet – Everything for Somebody
Henry Threadgill Zooid – Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp
Nicole Mitchell – Arc Of O
Mary Halvorson Quintet – Bending Bridges
Martin Küchen – Hellstorm
Levity – Afternoon Delights
Stian Westerhus – The Matriarch & The Wrong Kind Of Flower

Every contributor to the blog also made his own list of preferred albums. 

Denti Alligator
Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps
Aaron Novik – Secret of Secrets
Neneh Cherry & The Thing –  The Cherry Thing
Bester Quartet –  Metamorphoses
Charles Gayle – Streets
Keith Rowe –  September
Mats Gustafsson – Bengt
David Krakauer –  Pruflas –  The Book of Angels Volume 18
King Tears Bat Trip –  King Tears Bat Trip
The Thing With Barry Guy –  Metal!

Paul Acquaro
CF 250Mary Halvorson Quintet – Bending Bridges
Elliot Sharp Trio – Aggregat
9 Volt – Open Circuit
Elephant9 with Reine Fiske – Atlantis
Joe Morris, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver – Altitude
Paul Dunmall & Tony Bianco – Thank You To John Coltrane
Eivind Opsvik – Overseas IV
Aych – As the Crow Flies
Scorch Trio with Mars Williams – Made in Norway
Tim Berne – Snake Oil

Tom Burris
CF 252Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps
Nicole Mitchell – Arc of O
Jooklo Duo & Bill Nace – Scratch
Mary Halvorson Quintet – Bending Bridges
Henry Threadgill Zooid – Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp
Rob Mazurek Pulsar Quartet – Stellar Pulsations
Sam Rivers, Dave Holland & Barry Altschul – Reunion: Live in New York
Hairy Bones – Snakelust
Noah Bernstein – Six  Ballister – Mechanisms

Daniel Sorrelis
CF256Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps
Eli Keszler – Catching Net
Angles 8 – By Way of Deception: Live in Ljubjana
Angharad Davies, Tisha Mukarji, Dimitria Lazaridou-Chatzigoga – Outwash Pedro Sousa & Hernâni Faustino – Falaise
Martin Küchen – Hellstorm
Way Out Northwest – The White Spot
Mikołaj Trzaska, Ollie Brice, Mark Sanders – Riverloam Trio
John Tilbury – For Tomasz Sikorski
Henry Threadgill Zooid – Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp.

Phil Coombs
CF256Angles 8 – By Way of Deception – Live in Ljubljana
Nicole Mitchell – Arc of O
Steve Lehman Trio – Dialect Fluorescent
Daniel Erdmann – How to Catch a Cloud
MMM Quartet – Live at Metz’ Arsenal
Emile Parisien – Chien Guepe
Aram Shelton Quartet – Everything for Somebody
Matthew Shipp Trio – Elastic Aspects
Max Johnson Quartet
Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps

Joe Higham
John Butcher and Toshimaru Nakamura – Dusted Machinery
Levity – Afternoon Delights
Aram Shelton Quartet – Everything for Somebody
Daniel Erdmann – How to Catch a Cloud
Marc Ducret – Tower Vol. 4
Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps
Outhouse – Straw, Sticks + Bricks
Arts and Sciences – New You
Kay Grant & Alex Ward – Fast Talk
Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Fast Citizens – Gather

Paolo Casertano
CF 262Stian Westerhus – The Matriarch And The Wrong Kind Of Flowers
Joe McPhee & Eli Keszler – Ithaca
Nate Wooley/Peter Evans – Instrumental Vol. 1
Colin Stetson & Mats Gustafsson – Stones
The Thing with Barry Guy – Metal
Steve Lehman Trio – Dialect Fluorescent
Martin Küchen – Hellstorm
Peter Kolovos – Black Colors
Paradoxical Frog – Union
John Tilbury – For Tomasz Sikorski

Ananth Krishnan
CF256Thomas Heberer – Cookbook
Angles 8 – By Way of Deception: Live in Ljubjana
Levity – Afternoon Delights
Trespass Trio – Bruder Beda
Maya Homburger and Barry Guy – Tales of Enchantment

Stef Gijssels
CF 249Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud – En Corps
RED Trio + Nate Wooley – Stem
Mikołaj Trzaska Ircha Clarinet Quartet* ‎– Zikaron – Lefanay
Thomas Heberer’s Clarino – Cookbook (Red Toucan, 2012)
Mathias Küchen – Hellstorm
Wadada Leo Smith – Ten Freedom Summers
Skogen – Ist Gefallen In Den Schnee
Angles 8 – By Way of Deception: Live in Ljubjana
Pretty Monsters Dark Poetry

Martin Schray
CF 252Fire! – In the Mouth a Hand
Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Tentet+1 – Walk, Sleep, Love
Evan Parker’s Electro Acoustic Ensemble –  Hasselt
Stian Westerhus –  The Matriarch and the Wrong Kind of Flowers
Hairy Bones – Snakelust
Martin Küchen – Hellstorm
Mats Gustafsson/Thurston Moore –  Play Some Fucking Stooges
Colin Stetson/Mats Gustafsson – Stones
Pao –  Pao
Arts and Science  New You

Free Jazz Best of 2012 List (Readers Poll)


This must have been the most boring competition for the HAPPY NEW EARS AWARD we’ve ever had, with the winner in the lead from the first hour to the last, and capturing almost one third of all votes. Eve Risser, Benjamin Duboc and Edward Perraud are the deserved winners with “En Corps”, which already featured on many top-10 of the year lists too. They have indeed given us some novel listening experience. Congratulations to the winners, and to all other contenders for the great music and ear-opening – and mind-opening – musical ideas. Thanks to all voters for their contribution.

CF 249Eve Risser – En Corps (27%)
RED Trio + Nate Wooley – Stem (15%)
Eivind Opsvik – Overseas IV (8%)
Stian Westerhus – The Matriarch (8%)
Tim Berne – Snake Oil (7%)
Thomas Heberer’s Clarino – Cookbook (6%)
Angharad Davies, Tisha Mukarji, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga – Outwash (5%) Mikolaj Trzaska’s Ircha – Zikaron Lefanaj (5%)
Evan Parker, Okkyung Lee, Peter Evans – The Bleeding Edge (3%)
Pão – Pão (3%)
Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Hasselt (3%)
Levity – Afternoon Delights (2%)
Katherine Young’s Pretty Monsters (1%)
MMM Quartet – Live at the Metz’ Arsenal (0%)
Bobun – Suite Pour Machines À Mèche (0%)

The New York City Jazz Record review by Kurt Gottschalk

CF 260Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori and Ken Vandermark – The Nows (CF 260)
The British percussionist Paul Lytton and Oregon-raised, New Jersey-based trumpeter Nate Wooley, some 27 years his junior, have found a remarkable artistic sympathy in each other and have met with some fine successes as a result (check out either of their duo albums: 2007’s Untitled or 2009’s Creak Above 33). What holds them together, perhaps, is a shared fascination for the small sounds that their generally-loud instruments produce.

Such connections make for one of the most rewarding configurations in free improvisation: a duo with a well-articulated language joined by a third voice. That additional player might try to pick up the lingo or work against it, but either way the grounding is there. Lytton and Wooley have already recorded with David Grubbs (2007’s Seven Storey Mountain) and Christian Weber (2009’s Six Feet Under) and appeared on stage with many others. Now, with The Nows, the pair appears on disc with electronicist Ikue Mori and reedman Ken Vandermark.

With any other horn-and-drum duo, Mori might be left clutching at straws. The sounds that emanate from her laptop are usually soft and subtle and can belost against heavier-hitting players. But Lytton and Wooley deal in the macro focus, small sounds given great attention. In this recording, from a March 2011 set at The Stone, Mori sounds great, even something like a common denominator. Her blips work well with Lytton’s quick drum runs and her whooshes mesh nicely with Wooley’s trumpet flutters. At their best, the three sound very much like the inner workings of some unusual machine.

The second disc finds the pair joining forces with saxophonist Ken Vandermark, recorded two weeks later on his home turf at the Hideout in Chicago. It is, unsurprisingly, a louder, ‘jazzier’ set than the one with Mori, but still performed with attention to detail. Vandermark has a clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor and baritone saxophones in tow, so there’s a great diversity of detail as well. Both trios work well, but it’s nice that the first half of each disc is the duo alone. Getting to hear how the duo works before folding a third party in makes the listening all the richer.