John Dikeman, Jon Rune Strøm and Tollef Østvang choose as the name of their trio the title of an Albert Ayler’s composition, “Universal Indians”, because of its double symbolism. The purpose was to inspire their playing in the free jazz patrimony of the likes of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Ayler himself, and for all effects art and culture in our time are more and more global adoptions (“universal”) of singularities(“indians”). But in what refers to symbols they go even further – in “Skullduggery” they have the partnership of another one of the “new thing” mavericks, Joe McPhee. Now, you may ask: is this a nostalgic celebration of the past, with the same kind of revisionist perspectives we find in present recuperations of the bebop formats? No. That wouldn’t be possible with the involvement of someone like McPhee, even if the American relocated in Amsterdam and the two Norwegian improvisers wanted it, and they don’t. Their guest is widely known for his achievements in renewing the free subgenre, and in his path he made important contributions to other music practices, namely Pauline Olivero’s deep listening electro-acoustic concepts, Nihilist Spasm Band’s radical brand of noise and the jam rock of The Thing with Cato Salsa Experience. This CD reflects that openness and what you have here is the free jazz after free jazz. Intrigued enough?
Roulette of the Cradle by Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House.
This is the sort of music that your more hide bound “Jazz” traditionalists tend to hate. That is, while sections do occasionally “swing”, large swaths are more influenced by some of the more expressionistic aspects of 20th Century Classical music. Skittering polyrhythms, tone clusters, etc. Personally, I enjoy that the instrumentalists and composer cast a wider net than simply Ragtime, Blues, and “Jazz” for their inspiration. Also, great song titles.
A set of 16 composed and improvised duos between Kris Davis and a variety of collaborators: Don Byron, Tim Berne, Marcus Gilmore, Billy Drummond, Angelica Sanchez, Craig Taborn, Julian Lage, and Bill Frisell. All the pieces have their own charm, but I am especially fond of the piano duos with Craig Taborn.
Stubborn Persistent Illusions by Do Make Say Think.
Do Make Say Think is kind of like Godspeed You Black Emperor’s slightly less gloomy younger sister. Cheery, almost, and I bet she has more friends.
Another Contellation Records release, courtesy of my wife, the wonderful Michele K-Tel, (which is kind of weird, considering, until recently, she was giving me a hard time about having too much Constellation vinyl.)
’58 Sessions by Miles Davis, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, John Coltrane, Bill Evans.
From this remove, it’s hard to hear that this record was somewhat radical at the time of its recording. It seems to represent a bridge between the Bebop, that the young Davis came up in, and the “Modal Jazz” he would soon become famous for popularizing on “Kind of Blue”. Adderley is especially great on this, and Coltrane is solidifying the sounds he would become known for.
The Art of The Improv Trio Volume 5. Gerald Cleaver, Joe Morris, and Ivo Perelman.
I enjoyed Joe Morris’ playing, but I didn’t fully appreciate his perspectives until I read an interview with him in a collection of interviews William Parker did with improvisors for RogueArt. Anyway, Morris and Perelman seem to have a real connection and their interplay on this album is fantastic to listen to.
The Art of The Improv Trio Volume 4. Gerald Cleaver, William Parker, and Ivo Perelman.
Mr Perelman must have had three espressos before this set, because he is out in front, right out of the gate. After a few failed attempts to connect with Perelman, Cleaver and Parker establish a dialogue between themselves and carry on. Perelman eventually realizes he’s not in sync with the rest of the trio, and tries to connect with what Parker and Cleaver are doing, but never finds a way in. I found myself wishing I could turn off Perelman’s Sax and just listen to the Bass and Drums as a duo.
Interesting how Mr Perelman tailors his Tenor playing to his partners. In this case he is matching Maneri’s cello with a formidable display of his glissando technique and upper register playing. Very different from Volume One.