Saturday, March 20, 2021

Alex Louloudis - Words (2021 Off)

Alex Louloudis is a drummer in the field of free jazz and improvised music; a composer of contemporary and experimental music; and a percussionist in Afro-Cuban style music. He is a graduate from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, has released two records and his work has been presented in various places all over the world, such as The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC, Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, De Ruimte in Amsterdam.

His new album was recorded in New-York with some of the best jazz musicians of the moment. Alex wrote the music and the words of the 2vocal tracks. The music is definitively contemporary jazz but with a some reminders of the classic era of musicians like Coltrane or Monk! Enjoy

1. Surviving 05:25
2. Expedition in Nola 06:28
3. The Magic of 3 05:01
4. Ochun's Dance 05:04
5. I Hear You Eric 05:54
6. Words 07:10

Alex Louloudis- Drums
Rafael Statin- Tenor Saxophone
Dean Torrey- Bass
Rosdeli Marte- Vocals (#1, 6)
Kealean Ghandi- Tenor Saxophone (#1, 6)
Aaron Rubinstein- Guitar (#1, 6)

Solstice - Food for Thought (2021 Ubuntu Music)

1. Hermetica 07:16
2. P.T.S.D 07:54
3. Dreams 09:22
4. The Three Omegas 08:13
5. Close to home 10:28
6. Quetzalcoatlus 06:28
7. Familiar Fractals 09:56
8. Haven't Met You Yet 03:35

Tori Freestone - Tenor Sax, flute, alto flute
Brigitte Beraha - vocals
Jez Franks - guitar
John Turville - piano
Dave Maningotn - double bass
George Hart - drums

Chris Speed Trio - Iffy (Remastered) 2021

1. A Little Odd 04:01
2. Graphic Ridiculous 04:40
3. FMU 06:07
4. Gina 05:03
5. Part III 02:32
6. Skew 06:43
7. Skipping Really High 04:27
8. Coo Coo 04:36
9. Slippers 05:31

Organ, Synthesizers – Jamie Saft
Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone – Chris Speed
Drums – Ben Perowsky

originally released in 2000
reissued by Skirl Records 2021
remastered by Mell Dettmer 2021
redesigned by Karlssonwilker Inc. 2021
digital only!

Recorded/Mixed/Edited/Mastered in Brooklyn at *Good and Evil* by Chris Kelly and Danny Blume
December 14th & 15th 1999 and January 18th and 19th, 2000
Remastered January 2021 by Mell Dettmer

Tim Berne - inSOMNIA (2021)

1. The Proposal 35:57
2. oPEN, cOMA 29:55

Baikida Carroll: trumpet
Michael Formanek: contrabass
Marc Ducret: 12 string guitar
Dominique Pifarély: violin
Erik Friedlander: cello
Chris Speed: clarinet
Jim Black: drums

Tim Berne - The Sevens (2021 Screwgun Records)

Saxophonist/composer Tim Berne is noted for his searing climactic opuses and strenuously complex improvisations. Besides, he possesses one of the most distinctive alto saxophone styles in all of modern jazz. With this 2002 release, the artist pursues a series of chamber-like compositional frameworks rendered by the four saxophonists of the ARTE Quartett.

Berne also utilizes his longtime musical associate Marc Ducret (acoustic guitar) during two solo works amid his group-based involvement. In addition, Berne's alto work is prominently featured on the extended arrangement titled "Quicksand." Here, the leader serves as the fifth sax voice, while the ARTE Quartett and Ducret partake in a series of contrapuntal movements fabricated upon alternating melodies and pumping lines.

However, this production is fragmented into movements that feature the ARTE Quartett performing with or without Berne, Ducret, and electric guitar hero/electronics ace David Torn. The musicians execute interweaving choruses marked by contrapuntal statements and tricky time signatures, as innate classical concepts coalesce with jazz-style improvisation. The band raises the bar in spots, and this outing signifies one of Berne's most ambitious statements to date.

Another point of interest resides within "Tonguefarmer," Torn and Ducret's stirring yet altogether contradictory acoustic-electric duet. The Sevens indicates a crafty paradigm shift, regardless of whether it signifies a fleeting experiment or a precursor to other projects of this ilk. (AllMusic Review by Glenn Astarita)

1. REPULSION 11:22 ARTE Quartell (Beat Hofstetter, soprano sax, Sascha Armbruster, alto sax: Andrea Formenti, tenor sax; Beat Kappeler, baritone sax) 2. SEQUEL WHY 2:49 Marc Ducret, acoustic guitar 3. REVERSION 4:20 ARTE Quartett 1 source material); David Torn, electric guitars, loops, sonic nurturing 4. QUICKSAND 25:20 ARTE Quartett; Tim Berne, alto sax; Marc Ducret, acoustic guitar 5. TONGUEFARMER 4:53 Marc Ducret (source material); David Torn, electric guitars. loops, sonic redistribution 6. SEQUEL EX 2:31 Marc Ducret, acoustic guitar

All compositions by Tim Berne, except track 3 by Tim Berne/David Torn and track 5 by Tim Berne/Marc Ducret/David Torn. All compositions published by Berne Party Music (BMI), except tracks 3 and 5, by Berne Party Music (BMI) and David Torn/Torn Music (BMI)

Produced by Tim Berne, except tracks 3 and 5, produced and re-mixed by David

Torn/Cell Labs. Tracks 1, 2, 4, and 6 mixed March 5 by Ron Kurz at the Workshop in Switzerland; tracks 3 and 5 mixed March 1-6 by Splattercell at Cell Labs. Digital

AMOK AMOR (Peter Evans / Christian Lillinger / Petter Eldh / Wanja Slavin) March 2021 Boomslang Records

The provocative band name „Amok Amor“, sounds truly promising, considering the members of this German- American- Swedish formation can certainly not be viewed as a tender loving group. They ride a merciless attack and leave the listener after thirty-six eventful minutes totally exhausted and yet extremely happy behind. Three members of the quartet are well experienced as an already existing trio.

They live in Berlin and have for many years been supporting the city’s jazz life in numerous constellations and with decisive impulses. Wanja Slavin (33) the alto saxophone player and ECHO Jazz Award winner, Swedish bass player Petter Eldh (since 2009 active in Berlin) plus Germany’s most agile and unpredictable drummer, Christian Lillinger (31) recorded with “Starlight” an already rousing album, released under the Suisse label Unit Records.

Ulrich Steinmetzger’s evaluation of this production in the magazine „Jazz Thing: „This CD is a perfect example for the vitality of a never ending young metropolitan jazz scene, constantly moving forward while escaping the experimental hermetic towards integrating various elements deriving from the participant’s musical and other social essences and bringing all of this together in a relaxed and well considered combination“.

This trio, praised by the above mentioned hymn has now engaged in a mutual operation with an excellent and versatile trumpet player, the American Peter Evans (34) who is among other famous for being a long lasting member of the group „Mostly Other People Do The Killing“ (he has meanwhile left the group).

In a quartet, the two Germans, the Swede and the man from the United States developed an enormous spin on their album „Amok Amor“, a contagious and outraging energy and a breathtaking power. Somehow they have internalized the spirit of the wild sixties and yet their music is incorporated in the here and now. It is music drawn out of common categories.

Rhythm is prolonged here and accelerated plus artistically maneuvered and unconventionally accentuated until the bar lines tremble. Barely signalized melody shreds are added while wild and fast themes often tightly embrace the brass players. Incomparable and ludicrous tempi are added by Petter Eldh, Christian Lillinger, Wanja Slavin and Peter Evans in distinct compact pieces with such beautiful titles like „Manipulating II“, „Sons of Angels“, Born As A Socialist“ or „Axis Of The Good“ and which are without any garrulousness despite the immense information tightness.

This over active and yet controlled amok run is not killing – it is reviving! The „Amok Amor” – listeners will moreover question where these four members drew their strength, their motivation, their naturalness, their chuzpe and their incentive.

1. Manipulieren II 03:46
2. Amor 01:27
3. Sons of Engels - Marx 05:41
4. The Resistance 04:54
5. Rowk 05:39
6. Als Sozialist geboren 03:37
7. Mani 3 - Achse des Guten 07:20
8. Amok 04:01

Petter Eldh, bass
Christian Lillinger, drums
Wanja Slavin, sax
Peter Evans, trumpet

Almut Kühne / Joke Lanz / Alfred Vogel - How Noisy Are The Rooms? (March 2021 Boomslang Records)

HOW NOISY ARE THE ROOMS? represent an extremely provocative view of creative anarchy. Concentrated energy from three components that constantly run against each other puts the listener in the state of a pinball machine action: Mercilessly tossed back and forth, never comes to a rest, always at all points at the same time: Noise meets Trip-Hop meets Jazz!

HOW NOISY ARE THE ROOMS? are Berlin based vocal maniac Almut Kühne who is a classically trained singer and piano player, Swiss turntable wizard Joke Lanz well known for his Sudden Infant Noise-Rock project and Austrian drum-magician Alfred Vogel who is the driving force behind profiled Bezau Beatz festival. These three extremists hit it off right away without compromise!

A soulful voice seemingly evoking distant cultures, a labyrinth full of epileptic sounds, and a vigorous ritualistic percussion, these are the ingredients of HNATR. Sweet dreams are called chaos! A wonderful chaos in itself!

1. The Return of the Ah 02:35
2. Sim Sim Sum 03:28
3. Love Song 06:04
4. White Lines and Fresh Air 02:52
5. iGlow 04:46
6. Amma Chenne Cha 03:43
7. Detox Zombie Porridge 06:13
8. Rrrrub 03:36
9. Numèro 26 04:37
10. Heart Attack 03:48
11. How Noisy Are The Rooms? 04:19

Almut Kühne, vocals
Joke Lanz, turntables
Alfred Vogel, drums & percussion

Jim Snidero - Live at the Deer Head Inn (March 26, 2021 Savant)

As with many professions, it was a difficult thing to be a jazz musician during the pandemic year of 2020, but alto saxophonist Jim Snidero found himself in a unique situation: he was able to assemble a quartet for a feasible, safe, limited-audience gig at Pennsylvania's famed Deer Head Inn. Snidero and his colleagues relished the chance to commune with listeners, and one another, on the bandstand again at long last. Live at the Deer Head Inn is the result, and as Snidero remarks in the liner notes, "It just felt like the perfect opportunity to cut through the fog of this damn pandemic and mark this moment in time." The energy and excitement are palpable on this, as Snidero rallies his players and the audience in an exuberant set of what he calls "comfort music," beginning with a trenchant take on Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" (with Bird's daughter, Kim Parker, in attendance to hear it). The depth of swing and interplay is evident in every measure, and Snidero's sound and phrasing reveal a disposition of his own, guided by a unique melodic and harmonic concept — qualities that have earned him recognition in the Downbeat and JazzTimes Critics Polls.

Band Intro by Denny Carrig
Now's the Time
Autumn Leaves
Intro to "Ol' Man River"
Ol' Man River
Bye Bye Blackbird
Idle Moments
Who Can I Turn To
My Old Flame

Jim Snidero, alto saxophone
Orrin Evans, piano
Peter Washington, bass
Joe Farnsworth, drums

UNDP COLLECTIVE - Underpool 5 Vol​.​II (March 2021 Underpool)

The second volume of Underpool 5 has arrived.

UnderPool presents the second volume of the collective linked to the label. Underpool 5 is made up of four exceptional musicians; saxophonist Gorka Benítez, pianist Roger Mas, double bassist Martín Leiton, and drummer Ramon Prats.

After the acclaim for their first disk and following a long tour, the group decided to return to the studio to record the material that makes up this second volume. The objective was to document the evolution that the quartet has undergone, achieving a sound based on the equilibrium of each of the four individual elements, and their capacity to generate a unique sound and language resulting in a distinct, immediately recognisable musical personality.

As on the former disk, each of the members of the group has provided their own original compositions which make up the material for this album, which was recorded at the UnderPool Studio.

Once again these four giants of the national jazz scene have demonstrated their quality in interpreting this deeply moving and yet uncompromising.

1. New Track 06:40
2. El silencio de los peces 02:51
3. P.L. 04:03
4. M2 03:19
5. Despedida 06:51
6. Aleix 03:12
7. Tot va bé 05:26
8. Family Meters 05:04
9. Solo quiero despertar 01:09
10. 10 de Octubre 06:22

Gorka Benítez – Tenor Sax, Voice
Roger Mas – Piano
Martín Leiton – Bass
Ramon Prats – Drums

Zurich Jazz Orchestra & Steffen Schorn - Dedications (April 16, 2021 Mons Records)

The European jazz scene boasts a number of world class professional Big Bands, all with their own rich history and tradition. The Zurich Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1995, undoubtedly belongs to this exclusive club.

The big band recorded its fifth studio album in the winter of 2020/21, the second under the direction of Steffen Schorn, who was musical director for six years before changing to his current role as congenial composer in residence.

Fortunately. The album “Dedications” is a worthy successor to “Three Pictures”, released in 2018. Schorn’s compositions and thus the sound of the orchestra have, if at all possible, become even richer, more colorful, more differentiated, but at the same time more powerful. The album is proof of the fact that the sound spectrum and the possibilities of a top-class big band are almost unlimited. And if there were limits, they could be shifted with ease by someone like Steffen Schorn. “I loved working with this band, and when I took up the position of orchestra leader, it came at just the right time. I still had a lot of to-dos on my musical bucket list, and I knew this band had what it took to reach all my aims”.

“Dedications” is proof that Steffen Schorn has been able to tick off a thing or two on his bucket list. The music on the album is sophisticated yet accessible, staking out the essential themes of modern big band music and all its options at once. From the opener “The Mad Code”, originally written for solo piano and now completely re-orchestrated for the ZJO, to the pan-diatonic “Monsieur Pf.”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to a German police officer, to “Walzer”, the three-part closing tune that works with different harmonic layers, the Zurich Jazz Orchestra fits perfectly and flawlessly into its role as mediator of everything human – and superhuman, at times.

It oscillates with ease between a wall of sound and intimate chamber music, between force and finesse. You don’t ever get tired of listening to such a band.