Click here to [close]

JAM: Jim Black (d), Assif Tsahar (s), Mat Maneri (v)

Industriesalon Schöneweide. Berlin. October 2021

HUMANIZATION 4TET: Luis Lopes (g), Stefan Gonzalez (d), Rodrigo Amado (s), Aaron Gonzalez (b)

Ausland. Berlin. September 2021

Klaus Kugel (d), Joe McPhee (s), John Edwards (b)

Zig Zag Club. Berlin. September 2021

DLW: Christian Lillinger (d), Jonas Westergaard (b), Christopher Dell (v)

Jazzwerkstatt Peitz 58. Germany. September 2021

Elisabeth Harnik (p), Wilbert De Joode (b), Jan Klare (sax, fl), Michael Vatcher (dr)

Manufaktur Schorndorf, September 2021

Frank Gratkowski (as), Jasper Stadhouders (b), Steve Heather (dr), Sam Hall (dr) and Dirar Kalash (ts)

at Au Topsi, Berlin, August 2021

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Marta Warelis, Rosaly, Lumley & Dikeman - Sunday At De Ruimte (Tractata 868, 2021) ****½

By Stef Gijssels

There is no doubt that jazz is very much alive and vibrant, and that new talent keeps bringing new ideas to music. One of the upcoming artists is Polish pianist Marta Warelis, who after graduating with honours in her home country moved to the Netherlands, where she is now fully part of the forward-looking music scene in Amsterdam. 

This year, she appeared on "Turqoise Dream" (2021) with Helena Espvall, Marcelo Dos Reis and Carlos Zingaro, last year on "Omawi" (2020) with Alistair Payne and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. Other noteworthy albums include "Piano Trialogues" (2019), on which  Nicola L. Hein, on prepared guitar, and Etienne Nillesen, on extended snare drum, are accompanied on the three tracks by three different pianists: Magda Mayas, Eve Risser, and Marta Warelis. Last year, she also released "Microclimates" with the Hupata! ensemble, which further consists of Ada Rave on sax and Yung-Tuan Ku on percussion. The fact that she was asked to join Dave Douglas "Secular Psalms" tour in Europe this month says enough about how much she is in demand. 

On this album, she is in the company of saxophonist John Dikeman, who no longer needs any introduction, and who also has been residing in Amsterdam for many years; his fellow countryman Frank Rosaly is on drums and Canadian Aaron Lumley on bass. 

On "Sunday At The Ruimte", they bring us four improvised pieces, all four of exceptional quality, and all four musicians are also in great shape. The sound is a real collective co-creation of free improvisation: nervous, agitated, sharp, precise, hurried, yet expansive. There is some urgency to tell the story, creating strong ensemble dynamics, and intense interactions, yet they also take their time to give space and listen. 

Like Warelis, Dikeman is a musician with strong character, alternating lyrical phrases with moments of relentless insistency in a more parlando style, creating a sense of expansion and contraction, of departure and recentering on the music's core. In fact, he is magnificent on this album, getting better with the years, as we already noted with "Goes Without Saying, But It's Got To Be Said", released earlier this year. His sound is deep, warm and emotional, even in the more exploratory moments. 

Rosaly thrives in this environment too. His crisp and inventive playing is a real addition to the overall sound, making me think even that he's more European than American in his approach. Check also the excellent "Sude Des Alpes" by the Rempis Percussion Quartet, released earlier this year or "The Strobe Sessions", his duo with Dave Rempis. Of Aaron Lumley I only knew his solo bass cassette "Katabasis/Anabasis" from 2016. His playing is solid and captivating, as in the long solo he gives on the second piece. 

Despite the obvious freedom of the music, there is a post-boppish feel, a Coltrane-ish sense of musical space, lyricism and expansiveness, and the fact that all four musicians manage to weave mini-repetitive patterns into their improvisations results in a hypnotic feel. 

The sound quality is not optimal, possibly because it was recorded live - at the Doek Festival in August 2020 - you can hear children shout on several tracks, but unfortunately there is no further interaction with the audience to be heard. 

In any case, it's pure musical joy from beginning to end. 

Highly recommended. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Isaiah Collier and the Chosen Few - Cosmic Transitions (Division 81 Records, 2021) *****

By Nick Metzger

This album is outstanding. Cosmic Transitions is Isaiah Collier’s third album with his group the Chosen Few, after 2017’s Return of the Black Emperor and 2019’s The UNAPOLOGETIC NEGRO and it’s an instant classic, may be a masterpiece - only time will tell. That it was recorded on Coltrane’s birthday in 2020 at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio using the same equipment used for A Love Supreme should give you a sense of the guts Collier has. Though most true believers would shake in their boots at the thought of having to deliver anything substantial on such a day and in such a hallowed setting, Collier, pianist Mike King, drummer Michael Shekwoaga Ode, and bassist Jeremiah Hunt didn’t make the trip to kneel at the altar, they came to take up the torch and start new fires. The spiritual language of free jazz’s old guard is their native tongue. Not from, but of. This is ancestral music made manifest by a group of sonic shamans, and on four cuts across four sides Isaiah Collier and the Chosen Few show a bright path forward.

The album begins in a mystic way: the sounds of chants, shakers, bells and bowls signifying ritual and meditative communion, a christening in which the members of the band set to the task at hand. The momentum coils around Ode’s thumping entry before abruptly exploding into a disorienting burst of sound. The gravity of the piece takes hold, the pieces begin to fall in place then resolve into the soaring piano chords that kick off “Forgiveness”, and I’ll tell you what, I still get goosebumps. The long and elegantly hostile solos of Collier and King roil over an absolutely stellar rhythm section. On “Humility” the husky tenor line beckons a shift in the rhythm and King takes over, delivering his most spectacular solo of the set. His majestic play is countered by the organic volatility of Collier over the latter half of the track. Even during his most emotional and free passages he retains unbelievable control over his instrument. The track winds down into a solo from Hunt that serves as a bridge into the intro of “Understanding/Truth”.

Once the theme has been stated Hunt provides an interminable respite from the unrelenting squall with an articulate and rumbling solo that totters against the yielding piano harmonies and rustle of percussion. When King takes over he builds up the temperature slowly and subtly with airy chords, rolling glissando, and audible vocalizations which reach a peak as Collier restates the theme. The track dissolves from there into a shifting tonal field that Collier probes with soulful Ayler-esque strokes until the din fades to silence. “Mercury’s Retrograde” begins from this silence. Little noises at first, whistles and small horns that Ode quickly buttresses into a roiling clamor. Collier screams on soprano, then tenor, then both. The clouds part abruptly and the final piece begins to spill out. This last one features some of the quartet’s most intense playing, as if they are engorged with these sounds and simply can’t get them out fast or vehemently enough. Collier’s soprano conjures whirlwinds, you can hear the mechanics of the instrument struggling to shape his breath. Over the final three minutes Collier and Ode deliver a beat down of immense proportions, smashing skins and splintering reeds. The group restates the theme again and it’s done.

At this point I can almost assure that you’ll want to start it up again immediately. Perhaps like me you’ll have trouble processing what you just heard and excitedly, senselessly, and viscerally just want more. I had so many questions after that first listen, and I can tell you now that the answers lie within. To quote Angel Bat Dawid in her liners for the UNAPOLOGETIC NEGRO, Collier’s is “ A return of a sound…from a not so far present future space. A return to the ancient wisdom teachings of ascended masters .” Amen to that. Highly recommended.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Makaya McCraven - Deciphering the Message (Blue Note, 2021) ****

By Martin Schray

He has done it again: Over the past ten years Makaya McCraven has proven several times that he’s not only a jazz drummer who knows all the tricks of the trade, but also a very clever remix artist and producer. On the one hand, his own drumming mixes the styles of jazz heroes like Max Roach and Art Blakey with that of his father Stephen McCraven. On the other hand, when working with loops, he takes his cues from innovative DJs like J. Dilla and Madlib. What is more, McCraven likes to sample himself when organizing impromptu sessions around the world or when he’s invited as the guest star. He then edits the audio files several times to create contrasting moods.

Like on his Universal Beings album he uses classical jazz elements and enriches them with lots of funkiness and consistently develops the direct preliminary study for this album, his reimagination of Gil Scott Heron's last album We’re New Here Again (2020). On his new album he actually samples classics of the Blue Note catalogue but he doesn’t make the mistake to simply adore the achievements of the late greats. He hits the nerve of a younger generation instead because the music is viewed from the perspective of a newly added subjectivity (hiphop, drum’n bass). McCraven shifts the focus on the music’s novelty character, and thus it’s how it acquires a new musical relevance.

For Deciphering The Message he draws on the quality of the young, highly talented musicians of his band - vibraphonist Joel Ross, trumpeter Marquis Hill, saxophonists Greg Ward and De’Sean Jones, guitarists Matt Gold and Jeff Parker, and bassist Junius Paul - to put a fresh spin on the tracks. Joining them and McCraven on the virtual sampling stage are Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Dexter Gordon, Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell and Elvin Jones, among others. Eddie Gale’s 'Black Rhythm Happening' now becomes a big beat club stomper in McCraven’s version, which even enhances the late 1960s party mood of the original. Bobby Hutcherson’s extremely relaxed vibraphone on 'Tranquility' from his 1966 Components album joins Greg Ward’s whacked sax serpentines and Jeff Parker’s distorted guitar in a slightly surreal sonic space that can be a doorway to discovering the originals.

It’s interesting that McCraven chose recordings on which the later heroes were still on their way up. He said that he had wanted to focus on the older catalog and a particular era and that he had been inspired from the beginning by the idea of these young musicians going through bands, almost like a rite of passage. Focusing on this, McCraven also digs deeper in the concept of sampling within the context of traditional jazz - a method that has generally been a core aspect of his work.

The icing on the cake is the fact that the album has been so cleverly orchestrated that it feels like attending a concert at New York’s original Birdland jazz club. The trick is that McCraven uses announcements from the iconic Birdland MC “Pee Wee“ Marquette. McCraven says that he wanted to create a narrative that would give the listener the feeling of being transported back to that time or cultural movement. Thus, the album goes far beyond a simple stringing together of tracks. For all the love of sound tinkering, however, it's never too artificial or mechanical, as every pore of the album is imbued with a love of playing, collaboration and improvisation. In this way, McCraven also manages to seamlessly link the past of jazz with the present of this music.

Deciphering The Message is available as a download, on CD and on vinyl.

Listen to “Sunset“ here:

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Ryan Carniaux, Ra Kalam Bob Moses, Mike Roelofs - Joyous Freedom (Jazzwerkstatt, 2021) ****


By Flavio Zanuttini

This record was recorded in the middle of a tour in the summer of 2019. The three personalities fit really well together, they are able to create magic moments as well as spiritual atmospheres and a jazz feeling.

The clear sound of Ryan Carniaux's trumpet and flugelhorn is perfect for the beautiful melodies written by Ra Kalam Bob Moses like 'A Pure and Simple Being,' his approach to improvisation switches easily from modern jazz to more radical.

Percussionist Ra Kalam Bob Moses delivers a decisive job choosing the color of sound that better fit right in the moment, this takes the music on a new level highlighting its most important characteristics.

Mike Roelofs is comfortable in every situation from prepared piano to effected rhodes.

There’s a natural way of playing, a spiritual “something” that keeps strictly together these three musicians in this record. Everyone has his space where he can freely move, everyone is playing for the others, a wonderful interplay.

You can feel a connection between the musicians and you while listening to the music, something ancestral that makes you feel good.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Roy Campbell, John Dikeman Raoul van der Weide, Peter Jacquemyn & Klaus Kugel - When The Time Is Right (577 Records, 2021) ***½

By Stef Gijssels

The music on this album is raw, intense, energetic, agitated, somewhat uncontrolled and at moments chaotic, and with less than ideal recording quality, but we like it. 

We like it because of the presence of the late Roy Campbell Jr. on trumpet, flugelhorn and flute, and even if not everything he's ever recorded is memorable, it is great to have new releases on which he performs. 

He is in the company of John Dikeman on sax, Raoul van der Weide on cello and percussion, Peter Jacquemyn on bass and voice, and Klaus Kugel on drums. The five musicians met at the Doek Festival at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and they improvised this piece on stage. I do not think this American/Dutch/Belgian/German ensemble ever performed together before, yet they interact quite strongly. The only track lasts around 37 minutes. It is too short and we wish there was more, yet we're happy to hear it. 

There are moments when Campbell is up there in the sky, while Dikeman's sax is down on the ground with deep earthly sounds. Van der Weide's cello and Jacquemyn's bowed bass - and throat singing -occasionaly engage in fierce dialogues. Variation is guaranteed. 

The music is also relentless, with many things happening at the same time, and Kugel is driving things forward with power and rhythmic dynamics. There is a long quiet part with bowed strings and with Campbell on flute when the atmosphere becomes more gentle. 

But this is one of the rare moments to breathe, and when they arise they are usually short-lived because one of the other musician feels the need to pick up the pace and infuse the band again with the energy that characterises its 'raison d'être'. 

I'm happy this music exists. I wish the quality could have been better. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp

Friday, November 26, 2021

Ava Mendoza - New Spells (Relative Pitch/Astral Spirits, 2021) ****½

By Paul Acquaro

Guitarist Ava Mendoza is depicted with prickly pear cacti infront of a barbed-wire fence on the cover of her new recording New Spells. It's a fine visualization of the sounds that crackle forth from her electric guitar. 

This is her sound. Some recent group settings featuring Mendoza, like Mayan Space Station with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver, and Nate Wooley's Columbia Icefield project, are elevated by her bristling energy (and in terms of the latter, a neat contrast of energies with pedal steel player Susan Alcorn). On New Spells, Mendoza is not only front and center, but alone in carrying the whole recording, which she does artfully.

The recording begins with 'Sun Gun.' Gummy chords wobble in the background, steeped in reverb, while melodic notes are plucked out. Then, the song opens into a passage that recalls an unexpected Nirvana-like chord progression mixed with the wispy thin guitar lines a la Television. 'New Ghosts' goes down a different path, the beginning is sludgier, but not too heavy, the deeper tones bend and ooze, and eventually are extruded into long, stretchy tendrils. A bit of unresolved tension remains in the air throughout, especially when the echo effects are turned up and the atmosphere gets crunchy and dense. 

The last three songs are composed by her contemporaries, saxophonist John Dikeman, and bassists Trevor Dunn and Devin Hoff. Dunn's 'Ampulex Compressa' begins with a spikiness that fits Mendoza's style well, and then unfolds with fractal like wonder. Hoff's 'Apart From' has a haunting folkiness that Mendoza delivers with an enveloping approach. Finally, Dikemans 'Don't Look' vascillates between delicate arpeggiated melodies, trembling chord tones, and delightfully guitaristic textures.

Overall, New Spells is a bit grunge, a bit Hendrix, and all very much a unique creation. There is a completeness to each track, a collection of not just sonic exploration but rather songs with distinct narratives and personalities.  

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Andrew Cyrille Quartet - The News (ECM, 2021) ****


By Stephen Griffith

It's hard to overstate the number of seminal free jazz recordings drummer Andrew Cyrille has been part of, although the Cecil Taylor Unit’s 1966 Blue Note Unit Structures and Conquistador come quickly to most people's minds. But the 2019 octogenarian has been constantly active since then as a leader or sideman with a who’s who of major players. In 2016 he began a relationship with ECM with this quartet recording, followed by this trio date. The current quartet followed the sad demise of keyboard pioneer Richard Teitelbaum, leading to David Virelles assuming piano and synth duties that blend seamlessly with Bill Frisell’s guitar and Ben Street’s bass. Lee Rice Epstein perceptively pointed out that The Declaration of Musical Independence is a “spacious album...filled with longing and reflection” and the addition of Virelles augments that sound. Plus David is familiar with playing with Andrew and Street on his Continuum release from 2012.

On the topic of reflection, many of the songs apply new facets to previously recorded gems. The title cut was from a long out of print 1978 record on Ictus, The Loop, a solo drum album featuring sheets of newsprint covering the drum heads for “The News” and ending, in both versions with the leader simply stating “North East West South: The News" with his distinctive voice. Needless to say, even with the melodic nature of Andrew's drumming, the song sounds very different with the larger instrumentation, very disjointed sounds from all instruments perhaps reflective of the rapid-fire input from all directions to try to make sense of. But the underlying drumming has a similar skittering nature. An Adegoke Steve Colson composition, “Leaving East of Java” was previously recorded on Encounter by Trio 3, an early pre Intakt recording, now with Frisell and Virelles initially playing in unison to replicate Oliver Lake’s soprano sax lines before going their interlocking ways before a brief restatement of the opening theme. “With You In Mind” was performed by Cyrille, Henry Grimes and tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry, performing as Us Free, on Fish Stories. The original was structured after a love poem recited by Andrew over a cinema noirish tenor melody until Andrew’s brushwork and the bass join in at the vocal conclusion. The current version places the poem alone at the beginning followed by the full group joining in providing a lusher and more intricate sound than the lone tenor.

Frisell contributes three compositions, none of which I can find on prior recordings. “Go Happy Lucky” starts with a spritely guitar riff the title implies, under which dark brooding piano chords, similar to the start of Herbie Nichols’ “House Party Starting”, create dissonance before the two gradually resolve their differences in a fascinating way behind Street and Andrew’s solid foundation. Cyrille’s drumming has rarely been about ostentatiously dominating the group sound, even on his tribute to Art Blakey, as much as subtly enhancing it. This finely crafted release is no exception.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Tim Dahl - Solo (1584 Productions, 2021) ****

By Nick Metzger

Here we have the debut solo long player from NYC bass ace Tim Dahl, who we last heard on GRID’s excellent 2020 meltdown Decomposing Force with Matt Nelson and Nick Podgurski. You might also recognize him from one of his many other ventures like the Flying Luttenbachers, Pulverize the Sound, Unnatural Ways, CP Unit, the Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, and assorted Weasel Walter assemblages. That sounds like a lot but it doesn’t really scratch the surface of the number of projects Dahl has lent his talents to. It goes without saying that he isn’t your prototypical improvising musician, mainly due to the breadth of sounds he’s conjured over the years and his willingness to play across styles and genres. That said no such stylistic breaches here, Dahl very much has his own thing going on. I’d also add that if you (like me) are a sucker for wild, driving, fuzzy electric bass we get it in spades on this long player. On Solo Dahl delivers us from the mundane with a blast of grimy, coagulated otherness that is as musically inventive and entertaining as it is visceral.

There are several short interludes featuring the studio banter from Dahl and producer Nandor Nevai which breaks up the listening experience and keeps you from taking any of this too terribly serious. That said I’ll leave the listener to explore these on their own. The first instrumental is the second track Crushed Globus, which finds Dahl chanting in alien tongues via vocoder, hovering in a maelstrom so dense it may have it’s own gravity field. On Tamu Massif the fuzz abates somewhat and we’re treated to a plunky, off-balance swill that maintains the strangeness of the previous track by transforming Dahl’s vocals into what I’d describe as some insectoid buzzing around the stereo field. Le_Anse aux Meadows is another heavy, hairy knuckled trans-dimensional trip through the pedal board, this time with a metallic cutting edge. Conversely, the song Essential Toxins sounds wide open, almost ambient, but not quite. Global Exit finds Dahl tinkering with a clean, clanging yet rhythmic pattern over some looped feedback. It meanders just a bit before the fuzz blooms and the frenzied currents start to eat at the eardrums. RBCNW sounds like a small space containing a tiny, malfunctioning Tim Dahl robot while Matsushita Electric has the sonic texture of electrified jagged rocks.

Schenectady doubles down on the jagged texture and Dahl’s mumbled, half sung, half spoken dialogue plays back through the haze. SAG almost gets into Merzbow territory but in a particularly pleasant way. Dahl’s bass hits like brass knuckles in a velvet glove while you have to deal with what sounds like screaming sonic fireworks ripping past your head. The track sputters and glitches out before swelling briefly and ultimately submerging. The Low Country is an unsettling echo chamber of stasis. F for Conduct reprises the dense texture study of Crushed Globus while cranking up the menace and intensity. The last track is the fantastically named Quantum Creep which concludes the album in a concise hunk of funky and satisfying energy. I’m a bit at a loss for touchstones on this one as I have been with most of Dahl’s projects, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s awesome and weird and out there and if you like any of the aforementioned projects it’s likely you’ll get a kick out of this too. All in all it’s intriguing mix of free improvisation, sludge, and Jerky Boys banter is sure to please the discerning fan.

https://timdahl.bandcamp.com/album/solo

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Frisque Concordance - Distinct Machinery (Random Acoustics, 2021) ****½

 By Stef Gijssels

How far can you hide as musicians? How exotic and unknown should your next album be? How can you ensure that the fans won't find your next release? How can you be certain not to sell anything? The concept of "branding" seems like an alien idea to many avant-garde musicians, despite the obvious value it may have in gaining wider exposure and possibly revenue too, without having to compromise on the nature of their music. 

(A second observation is that - despite our Blog's very narrow musical profile, and its positive attitude to new material - some artists never send us promo material in advance. Some labels send their material systematically, some not. Often we have to ask to receive material once we know that new releases have been published.)

Anyway, these observations may have their interest, but let's move on. The band "Frisque Concordance" will possibly not ring any bells to readers, as it did not to me. Its first album was released in 1993, and this is their sophomore album, yes, 28 years later, in 2021. And the quartet is a true superband, with John Butcher (°1955) on tenor and soprano sax, Georg Gräwe (°1956) on piano, Wilbert de Joode (°1955) on double bass, and Mark Sanders (°1960) on drums, with the rhythm section replacing Hans Schneider and Martin Blume compared to the first album. That's 257 years of combined life and musical experience in one band. 

Of course the four musicians have performed together in different settings, and released albums in duos or trios (Gräwe & Sanders on "Affretando", Gräwe & Butcher on "Light's View", Gräwe with De Joode on "Flüchtigkeiten", De Joode & Butcher on "Low Yellow", and Butcher and Sanders many times (including "Daylight" and "Treader Duos", De Joode & Sanders on "Rope"), just to show how they fit in the same kind of musical universe of free improvisation. 

Even if they perform only once every few decades, the quality of the music is exceptionally good. It is powerful, raw, intense, full of energy and forward-moving dynamics, and so is the quality of the recording itself. The four musicians give themselves fully, without hesitation or compromise. The first disc of this double CD was recorded in Vienna in 2017, the second was recorded for the Austrian radio at the Konfrontationen Festival in Nickelsdorf in 2018. 

Obviously, Gräwe and Butcher have a stronger lead voice, but it must be said that both De Joode and Sanders shape the music in equal measure. All four artists are in great form for both performances. The music too varies between more intimate and quiet parts to high volume interactions and everything in between. This is one of those albums where the magic happens: the interplay is seamless, and the listening skills and co-creation of the four musicians is at the level that you might expect from their level of artistry and experience, and even more easily demonstrated by the mutual respect they have for each other. 

For those of you - like me - not familiar with the word, "Frisque" means 'lively' and the band's name can be interpreted as "lively unity", a well-chosen moniker. 

The live set is called "Desmodromics", referring to the workings of a four-stroke engine, alluding to power, speed, and seamless well-oiled interaction. A well-chosen title too. Actually, all titles refer to terms related to mechanics and machinery. Readers can have some fun by identifying their actual meanings on internet. 

We expect their next album to be released in another 28 years from now, in 2049, when they will all be in their early nineties. I have no doubt the quality will be as rich as it is on this album. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp.


There is a somewhat shaky video of that Konfrontationen concert, with poor sound quality, but at least it will an idea of the quality of the interaction.

 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Dave Rempis - Scratch and Sniff (Catalytic Sound, 2020) ****½

Scratch and Sniff is a live solo recording from Chicago-based saxophonist, Dave Rempis. It was recorded with a live audience at May Chapel (Chicago, IL) on December 17, 2017 and released on Catalytic Sound in 2020. The album comes in with just over 30 minutes of music.

This is a wide ranging solo concert with Rempis performing on alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. Rempis traverses extremes in dynamics, densities, registers, and timbres stretching from screaming noise to memorable melodicism, and from gritty textures to cascading walls of sound.

The first two tracks, 'When Beggars are Choosers' and 'Tooth and Snail' focus on the noisier aspects of the alto and baritone saxophones, respectively. Rempis’ expert control of extended techniques is readily apparent and his use of those sounds is wielded creatively and expressively. Both tracks have hard charging sections of angular, broken melodic lines that are gritty and beautifully harsh in timbre, amongst slowly developed textures of noisy timbres and whistling pitches reaching the upper limits of the instruments.

The third and fourth tracks, 'Abra Cadaver' and 'Ecclusastics (Charles Mingus)', fall into the free jazz category with a more traditional use of the tenor and alto saxophones, but this is not to say that there is no use of extended techniques, rough timbres, and extremes of dynamics and register being explored. 'Abra Cadaver' showcases ample use of circular breathing to produce endlessly cascading streams of pitches, rarely interrupted by a breath. 'Ecclusastics (Charles Mingus)' uses Mingus’ tune as a jumping off point for an abstract, bluesy excursion that ends with an ecstatic wail.

This is a compelling album of high-level improvising and exploration of the sound potential of the various saxophones. Each track is a well-constructed improvisation expressing a sense of logical, linear development with a compositional sensibility…a pleasure to listen to.