2017-09-12 Lark Uprising

Lark Uprising by the Mikolaj Trzaska Ircha Clarinet Quintet featuring Joe McPhee.

I found this album on Joe McPhee’s Bandcamp site and bought it because, well, Clarinets and Joe McPhee.

I was familiar with one of the members, Waclaw Zimpel, from his work with Ken Vandermark, but really didn’t know what to expect.

What a surprise, and what a reminder of how amazing clarinets can be in creative and talented hands. Definitely one of the most outstanding modern clarinet records I’ve run across.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #JoeMcphee #MikolajTrzaska #WaclawZimpel #PawelSzamburski #MichalGórczynski #MikolajTrzaskaIrchaClarinetQuintet #CatalyticSound

2017-08-28 Seven Pieces – Live at Willisau 1995

Seven Pieces – Live at Willisau

Seven Pieces – Live at Willisau 1995 by Evan Parker, Daunik Lazro, and Joe McPhee.

Three Saxophonists, one American, one British, and one French, improvising freely. Some wonderful and surprisingly lyrical interplay.

One of those records, where it reaches the end, and you want to go back and start over, to listen for more of the details and technique.

#EvanParker #DaunikLazro #JoeMcPhee #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

2017-07-21 Tenor and Fallen Angels

Tenor and Fallen Angels by Joe McPhee.

Ken Vandermark has written and spoken of this 1977 solo Tenor Saxophone album from Mr McPhee as crucial to his development as a player.

Endlessly inventive, yet not inaccessible, Mr McPhee uses noir-ish themes to launch his angelic flights into the open skies of free improvisation.

#JoeMcphee #Saxophonistry #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

2017-06-22 Chicago Tenor Duets

Chicago Tenor Duets by Evan Parker / Joe McPhee.

The stars in my saxophone constellation from my teens into my twenties were: Johnny Hodges/LesterYoung -> John Coltrane/Eric Dolphy -> Evan Parker.

I’d always see Joe Mcphee’s albums on HatArt at the record store, but for some reason he didn’t really enter my area of interest. I guess he didn’t get as much press in the magazines I was reading at the time.

I was missing out, and am trying to make up for my oversight by listening to more of his recorded output these days.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #EvanParker #JoeMcPhee

2017-06-09 The Damage is Done

The Damage is Done by McPhee/Brötzmann/Kessler/Zerang.

An early tendency towards noir jazz, encouraged by Mr Kessler’s bass lines, leads towards some pleasantly lyrical passages from Brötzmann. However, when McPhee switches to Tenor, about 20 minutes in, the take-no-prisoners, two Tenor skronk-fest you were hoping for materializes. Invigorating.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #JoeMcPhee #PeterBrötzmann #KentKessler #MichaelZerang

2017-07-08 What If/They Both/Could Fly

What If/They Both/Could Fly by Evan Parker and Joe McPhee.

Evan Parker on Tenor Sax in duet with Joe McPhee on Pocket Trumpet and Soprano Sax. A diverse and enjoyable set of free improvisation duos from two masters of the form.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #EvanParker #JoeMcPhee #RuneGrammofon

2017-06-05 Skullduggery

Skullduggery by Universal Indians with Joe McPhee.

Some fine Squonk, Thunk, and Squall to get my blood moving this Monday morning. Invigorating.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #JohnDikeman #JoeMcphee #JonRuneStrøm #TollefØstvang #UniversalIndians #Skullduggery #CleanFeed

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?