Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

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excellent :mrgreen:

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Tanner »

jon abbey wrote:apologies for the slight thread diversion, but I wanted to post this somewhere here and this seemed like as good a place as any. I guess it's a few years old but I hadn't seen it before, I have not laughed so hard in a long time.

https://www.captiongenerator.com/98859/ ... SyPvlzyMZs
Holy shit. I didn’t think thAt clip had any more mileage on it but...

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Captain Hate »

Matt Maneri showed that to me on his phone a couple years ago. I don't ever think I've seen him laugh that hard.
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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

Captain Hate wrote:Matt Maneri showed that to me on his phone a couple years ago. I don't ever think I've seen him laugh that hard.
maybe the best line is banning old men who play saxophone - the decades line was also great.

someone could have made a great one regarding Vision Fest. I could only handle one day and I went primarily because of the older guys playing saxophone :D

of course Brotzmann was the reason I went - too bad the Vision festival is so closed off to most with a Vision but it's been that way for DECADES :oops:

btw, ONE t in Mat ;)

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by negative potential »

jon abbey wrote:apologies for the slight thread diversion, but I wanted to post this somewhere here and this seemed like as good a place as any. I guess it's a few years old but I hadn't seen it before, I have not laughed so hard in a long time.

https://www.captiongenerator.com/98859/ ... SyPvlzyMZs
This had me cracking up, but the mention of Berlin and Tokyo is misplaced, since there isn't a single musician from either of those two cities mentioned (the FMP label was based in Berlin, but Brötzmann is and was always based in Wuppertal).

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by jon abbey »

negative potential wrote:his had me cracking up, but the mention of Berlin and Tokyo is misplaced, since there isn't a single musician from either of those two cities mentioned (the FMP label was based in Berlin, but Brötzmann is and was always based in Wuppertal).
there are only a handful of specific musicians from anywhere mentioned. I don't know how many musicians from Tokyo are still doing a lot of European festival gigs, but the point is understandable and certainly not misplaced.

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by negative potential »

jon abbey wrote:
negative potential wrote:his had me cracking up, but the mention of Berlin and Tokyo is misplaced, since there isn't a single musician from either of those two cities mentioned (the FMP label was based in Berlin, but Brötzmann is and was always based in Wuppertal).
there are only a handful of specific musicians from anywhere mentioned. I don't know how many musicians from Tokyo are still doing a lot of European festival gigs, but the point is understandable and certainly not misplaced.
I just think that, given the complaint about the imbalance in gender representation, Berlin and Tokyo are probably the two cities that immediately spring to mind where women are better represented among the most "well-known" ("well-known" relative to the improvised music world, of course) musicians.

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

negative potential wrote:
jon abbey wrote:
negative potential wrote:his had me cracking up, but the mention of Berlin and Tokyo is misplaced, since there isn't a single musician from either of those two cities mentioned (the FMP label was based in Berlin, but Brötzmann is and was always based in Wuppertal).
there are only a handful of specific musicians from anywhere mentioned. I don't know how many musicians from Tokyo are still doing a lot of European festival gigs, but the point is understandable and certainly not misplaced.
I just think that, given the complaint about the imbalance in gender representation, Berlin and Tokyo are probably the two cities that immediately spring to mind where women are better represented among the most "well-known" ("well-known" relative to the improvised music world, of course) musicians.
I'm usually the last person to think about such things as I believe organically in today's improvised music scene once one escapes from backwards thinking musical organizations like Vision Fest especially - an organization which has become a pathetic joke in many ways masquerading as some forward looking or even current presentation of the avant-garde, then the best of the best will get their due in the small improvised scent that exists. Those who really care about the actual music listen to those who create the best music regardless of their background.

Back to Vision Fest, sure there is a set here or there with Ava Mendoza or Tomeka Reid or Matt Nelson - but we get the same old same old every damn year. Plus we don't ever get musicians like relative old timers like Francois Carrier - and certainly very few of the great European improvisors outside of the most well known like Brotzmann, Leandre or Evan Parker. With all due respect do we need a Whit Dickey quartet with Rob Brown for the 50th year in a row? Or Matt Shipp every year? William Parker playing 30 sets each festival but never a bassist like Pascal Niggenkemper, John Edwards - god forbid they invite the pre-eminent improvising bassist of the past 20 years to play in New York!!! Imagine if they ever heard or heard of a bassist like this Elsa Bergman that I recently heard on the below recording from Not Two records.

I think lately in NYC there are numerous high profile wonderful female improvisors like Tomeka Reid, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, Ikue Mori, Ava Mendoza, Mary Halvorson, Sylvie Courvoisier, Zeena Parkins, Kate Gentile, Jessica Pavone and numerous others.

Plus I've mentioned an amazing 3 CD set from Per Ake Holmlander that was released last year on Not Two Records with the following personnel - some of these musicians (many of whom happen to be women) that I had been previously unaware of. Some of them play at levels that are stunning in intensity/ability

there are 5 woman out of the 11 musicians in the large ensemble.

Anna Hogberg: alto saxophone !!!
Elsa Bergman: double bass !!!!!
Julie Kjaer: alto saxophone !
Signe Dahlgreen: tenor saxophone !!
Susana Santos Silva: trumpet !!! - I was already familiar with her

Plus the combination of these younger musicians from the Netherlands with a couple of great American improvisors (Steve Swell & Tim Daisy) and the veterans Holmlander & Mikolaj Trzaska makes this 3 CD set one of the best 'old-school/new-school' free jazz/free improvised releases from the past year or two. Plus the 3rd disc is a fine composed suite that's filled with improvised excitement. Good to see the great low brass man leading such a wonderful ensemble and great to see Not Two records releasing this music in such sublime sound and great presentation.

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

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Reynolds omitted the worst part of Vision Fest: Mrs William Parker's insipid dancing.
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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Captain Hate »

Anybody heard this?

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2019/07/der ... arker.html

Squidco is already sold out of their second order. I got it right before I went on vacation and until this heat breaks my stereo is in mid inferno.
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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by MRS »

Steve Reynolds wrote: North and The Red Stream: Red Trio & Mattis Stahl
Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, Hernani Faustino on bass, Gabriel Ferrandinin on drums with the guest on vibraphone
Three 20 minute-ish improvised pieces. Maybe my favorite from all of the newer releases. Think of a post-modern version on "Oblique" without themes and with advanced technique and great dynamics
I just ordered this, thanks Steve. Stahl is the truth, Ståhls Blå ‎off Dragon was the first I'd heard but please do yourself a favor and check out Schlachtplatte off Moserobie (which was an awesome label). I wish I had more to offer on topic, thanks for writing, best stuff on here along with Dan's.

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baby

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

MRS wrote:
Steve Reynolds wrote: North and The Red Stream: Red Trio & Mattis Stahl
Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, Hernani Faustino on bass, Gabriel Ferrandinin on drums with the guest on vibraphone
Three 20 minute-ish improvised pieces. Maybe my favorite from all of the newer releases. Think of a post-modern version on "Oblique" without themes and with advanced technique and great dynamics
I just ordered this, thanks Steve. Stahl is the truth, Ståhls Blå ‎off Dragon was the first I'd heard but please do yourself a favor and check out Schlachtplatte off Moserobie (which was an awesome label). I wish I had more to offer on topic, thanks for writing, best stuff on here along with Dan's.

The Checkerboard Laughed and Eluded Everyone

baby
will do - BIG lists these days

and maybe you might know that the Hemingway Quintet stuff has aged well. Probably especially the above. That you posted that reference to a piece from "The Marmalade King" had a tear come to my eyes remembering how much that music MATTERED in those days as for the first time for some of us, we were able to share with each other about this 'unknown' music - through this brandy new internet thing, a part of our lives today that we now often just take for granted, I think. or many of us take it for granted. When I'm not centered I get bitter and sometimes forget where I've been and where I came from. I lots music for almost 5 years and almost lost much more than that.

I hope I don't take anything for granted today - the internet, my life, my ears, my somewhat open spirit.

I'm glad it still does matter today and it matters in a far different but in a more mature way I think as I am more happy and joyous today imbued with music of all sorts that I adore. I'm still a listener of small form improv but for me I've reverted to more to post modern improvised music that is somewhat related to jazz. I've also found that the best "expressive" stuff of today has a refined restraint and power that often did not exist 15 to 20 years ago. The best NYC based musicians have the capabilities to create some amazing stuff (as do many others but since I'm in New Jersey - when I see shows they are a good percentage the great locals). Like a show from last week - Ingrid Laubrock (not my favorite saxophonist but she is good to sometimes very good on the tenor - she should leave her soprano home or throw it out), Brandon Seabrook - very good rough guitarist, Brandon Lopez on double bass - great young player but certainly not the type of playing that would be of interest to those only interested in small form "eai" and it's close relatives, and then the *great* Tom Rainey on drums. 45 minutes. 35 minutes of it at least was of the highest orders. Still miracle music for me when it happens.

As far as Gerry Hemingway, his unique drumming might be of that time but it is stark in comparison to all other drummers of that time. Too bad few noticed then and less notice now. Maybe the same goes moreso for Joe Maneri but time for me has greatly increased the merit of his music. When I listen today - every few months - still - recently I listened to "Going to Church" on AUM Fidelity, the larger group with Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp, Barre Phillips, his son Mat & Randy Peterson, I hear a drone that even supercedes more direct drones and waves. The INTENSITY of that record. Wow. Then The Trios double CD from 1997 & 1998 on Leo. The second disc has Joe mostly on grand piano. Unless I'm nuts, he was a genius on the piano in a way that Braxton wasn't & isn't. But I couldn't hear that in 2002 or even in 2008. It took me the last few year of listening to more new music of different YOUNGER musicians to hear it.

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

time for another I suppose - I hope a few who still love the jazz aspect of improvised might be reading as I will say this (not sure if what I'm saying means that much but it sure seems to feel like very few really care about the expressive end of free music these days) - the last maybe 8 to 10 years are/have been what some might call a purple patch in this music. Instead of getting stale (as certainly some portions of music have - but those portions I hope I've paid little attention to as my listening time is nothing like it once was 15 to 25 years ago), the best of the best to my ears is some of the most exciting music I've ever encountered. I've commented on terrific releases on labels like No Business, Intakt, Clean Feed, Relative Pitch, etc.

First I'll add 3 very recent listens of 3 recent releases on Relative Pitch:

Old Smoke
somewhat old school sax-bass-drums trio session with Steve Baczkowski, Brandon Lopez & Chris Corsano - these live date from a couple of years back recorded in Buffalo is a scorching blistering hot recording that kills any idea that this idiom is dying

The Industry of Entropy
Again with the mercurial Brandon Lopez with young tenor man Matt Nelson, vibes player Andria Nicodemou & Gerald Cleaver playing in his take no prisoners groove mode - again burning hot post modern free jazz

The Mouser
Tomeka Reid on cello in a duet with Filippo Monaco on drums - rarely is a drum duet with a 'soloing' instrument a favorite for me but this slightly under 40 recording is masterful and of this moment

THEN almost totally unexpected, I bought the new double CD of 2 sets that Charles Gayle played with John Edwards & Mark Sanders - I think from 2017 At Café Oto - so I bought it for the bass/drums with some sort of curiosity factor to see if Charles still had anything left and if he would play more than a snippet or phrase on his saxophones rather than simply tinkering on his piano.......last time I saw him live was maybe 2013 or 2014 for a set at Vision Fest and he took out the tenor with about 4 or 5 minutes before the band he was playing with stopped playing. His piano is intriguing in a Braxton kind of way but I wanted to hear his TENOR SAXOPHONE. Still irritated years later.....

So here we get both sets from the concert - and it's listed that Charles plays both alto & tenor saxophone along with piano. Plus I realize he is 78 years old when this concert took place and I wasn't sure he could really play even in 2013 or 2014 - so I start on the first set and thankfully he starts on what sounds like his tenor. Scratchy seemingly unsure but he starts building up some fire. IIRC the first piece ends at about 26 minutes (no track breaks on the CD's) - the next piece is on the alto and again if my memory serves me (it was over a week ago that I listened), the next piece is maybe 10 or 12 minutes and by the end we are hearing what made Charles Gayle famous in the first place - incendiary playing from the depth of his being. Set one ends with some nice piano energetic and yet sublime piano with bass & drums as only Edwards & Sanders can do - a fairly stunning 49 minute first set.

Set two also starts on the horns but he switches to piano earlier - maybe half way or maybe 40% into the 46 minute set - so I'm thinking maybe that's all he's got - what happens during the next 15 to 20 minutes has to be heard to be believed. Record of the year for me. Visceral heart wrenching and totally Charles Gayle - vocalizing, crashing piano peaking like only a great free jazzer can peak. Is that passé?


peace and blessings

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by negative potential »

Hijacking this thread to ask Stevie Rey and Captain Hate if they see anything on this program list that would tickle their fancy? I already got a ticket for the huge Braxton thing at the Gropius Bau on the opening Thursday, and am thinking of getting a ticket for the small-group Braxton thing for Sunday when tickets go on sale next week, but for the most part all of the names here seem rather unfamiliar, so I'll probably take a pass on most of the festival unless either of you jumps out and says there's something that's a "must see":

https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/ja ... rmine.html

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Captain Hate »

I don't know if they're must see but I'd be most interested in seeing Eve Risser and Christian Lillinger's Open Form for Society.

Keep up the good work, Reynolds. Btw I just got Intensegrity. And add Brandon Seabrook's Sylphid Vitalizers to the 2005-2015 list.
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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

I've just started to listening to Christian Lillinger and I think we have a new kind of jazz drummer - he's got a bit of Jaki Leibezeit in him. Maybe even too much uber precision. But he sure is impressive.

Not quite the power of the great Lucas Niggli but who does save for Tyshawn Sorey or Randy Peterson? Been so long since I've seen Gerry Hemingway but even 5 years ago when I saw him here in NYC for a few shows, his power and force was still beyond possible. Also I've been hearing Gerald Cleaver really crank up the intensity lately at some shows and on record - one quartet show with Malaby, Ben Monder & Tim Dahl had Cleaver bringing his version of Can drumming only in a very small room. We called the band Embrace the Sweat and it should be on record - 2 of the most intense sets of music I saw last year.

Lets' do a quick overdue snapshot of the best from Not Two over the past 15 years:

First off I'm ordering a at least 3 or 4 of the most recent releases including the new trio record with McPhee, Edwards & Kugel, a Jeb Bishop quartet recording & a duet with Simon Rose (a baritone saxophonist that is new to be) & Steve Noble

Joe McPhee: Isben's Ghosts - quartet with Bishop, Haker-Flaten & Michael Zerang - recorded live in Oslo on 2/21/2009. Blazing. Bishop WAY better than most people who like him even know, IMO

Mats Gustafsson Nu Ensemble: Hidros 6 - Knockin' priceless - can't keep it out of my CD player - even better than the great later FIRE! Orchestra recordings

Ken Vandermark Resonance Ensemble: Head Above Water, Feet Out of the Fire - 2 CD set - 1 live, 1 studio. All of these Resonance Ensemble recordings are very good but this one is great. Burning hot and heavy. Michael Zerang shows on every recording he shows up on why he is the real deal.

Joe McPhee Survival Unit III: Game Theory - one name: Fred Lonberg-Holm plus that guy Zerang again

Conference Call: What About The....Understated yet powerful quartet with Geghard Ullman, Michael Jefry Steven, Joe Fonda & George Schuller - 2 CD set - there is a later set that is also good but is missing the magical improvisations found on this recording

Francois Carrier with John Edwards & MIchel Lambert + Steve Beresford: Overground to the Vortex - can I give this extra stars???

Rodrigo Amado: The Flame Alphabet - with his Motion Trio + Jeb Bishop - many great Amado recordings but this is my favorite - 42 minutes of tight improvisation - a new kind of jazz improvisation in my view - restraint with power

Peter Brotzmann/Joe McPhee Quartet: The Damage is Done - with Kent Kessler & Michale Zerang - 2 CD set - some soft spots but enough skronky goodness to make this list - again Zerang is a KING

Szilard Mezei: Bot - 2 CD set large ensemble - lots to listen to but if one gives it time, lots to love

Joe McPhee Quartet: Magic - 2 CD set with Mikolaj Trzaska, Dominic Duval & Jay Rosen - like it quite a bit but now realizing been too long - need to revisit

Peter Brotzmann with Takeo Moriyama & Masahiko Satoh: Yatagarasu - maybe my favorite Brotzmann small group recording of the past 15 years? Satoh is on fire

Dragonfly Breath: Paul Flaherty, Steve Swell, C. Spenser Yeh & Weasel Walter: one of the best balls out improve records EVER

Rodrigo Amado: Searching for Adam - with Hebert, Bynum & Cleaver - great example of Cleaver bringing it

Rosa Luxembourg New Quintet: never heard of any one them - YOWZA



Now the more recent BIG winners:

Joe McPhee, John Edwards & Klaus Kugel: Journey to Parazzar: McPhee on alto sax & pocket trumpet - as good as this sort of thing gets - 10 stars

The Clifford Thornton Memorial Quartet: Sweet Oranges with McPhee on tenor & Thornton's slide trombone, Daunik Lazro on tenor & baritone saxophones, Jean-Marc Foussat on analogue synthesizers & voice with the *great* Makoto Sato on drums: ONLY 8 stars

DKV Trio: Latitude & DKV/The Thing Double Trio: Collider - of all the excellent DKV related releases, these are the best 2 shows, IMO

Joe McPhee, Damon Smith & Alvin Fielder: Six Situations, McPhee never relents - this time all tenor saxophone

Peter Evans, Agusti Fernandez & Mats Gustafsson: A Quietness of Water - I'm a recent convert ot a few non-drummerless things outside of the eai spectrum and this might be #1 on that list. These is also a live recording of this trio from around this time (2012, I think). Keeps Peter & Mats in their most effective controlled modes

Michal Dymny, Rafal Mazur & Vasco Trilla: Tidal Heating - 79 minutes of guitar, acoustic bass guitar & drums like you've never heard before

Liudas Mickunas, Rafal Mazur & Raymond Strid: Live at Divadlo - 38 minutes of some of the greatest sax-bass-drums improvisation I've ever heard - 9 stars

Dragonfly Breath III: Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus - their 3rd show ever, HENCE the III - the second is on Steve Swell's Kanreki - th first from 2008 or 2009 is mentioned above - I was at this show 40 minute with the reality that Paul Flaherty LITERALLY ROSE from the floor after the paramedic left to play this 40 minute piece starting at about 10:50 At the Stone with MAYBE 15 of us left in the crowd

Daniele D'Agaro, Giovanni Maier & Zlatko Kaucic: Disorder at the Border - music from Ornette but with a fire Ive never heard from anyone else playing Ornette's music

Generation Quartet: Flow - with Oliver Lake, Michael Jefry Steven & Emil Gross - again Fonda & Stevens elevate this music and Lake is in great form

Jones Jones: Moscow Improvisations - Larry Ochs, Mark Dresser & Vladimir Tarasov - challenging stuff but if you like Ochs, this is prime improvised abstract crunchy stuff

Rodrigo Amado: This is our Language - with McPhee, Kessler & Corsano - it is a new language - only quibble is we never get McPhee & Amado on saxophone together

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by negative potential »

I was on the fence about whether to start a new thread about this or post to this one, since I suspect it's more on the "classical" side of the spectrum than the "jazz" side, but since it was the opening event of a "jazz" festival, I guess it passes muster.

Anyway, I saw the Anthony Braxton "Sonic Genome" performance at the Martin Gropius Bau last night, and I think, without exaggeration, this is the most impressive live performance of music I have ever attended. In the sense that this is the sort of thing I can _only_ imagine working as a live performance, not as a CD or recording. The performance was broadcast as a livestream on Youtube, but that can't capture the inherent "spatial" experience of the whole thing.

Six hours of performance, with a large ensemble of musicians from different local formations (including quite a few members of the Echtzeitmusik scene) as well as some tried-and-true Braxton disciples like Ingrid Laubrock and Alexander Hawkins. The idea being to disperse small ensembles throughout the Martin Gropius Bau and have them be "recombinant" within the various spaces of the building, converging in the large central court of the museum occasionally for large ensemble pieces.

I've looked at some of the recorded video stream in retrospect and my initial suspicions that this doesn't work as any kind of recorded piece are borne out; central to this was the experience of being _in the building_, of wandering through corridors and hearing sounds from one space waft into another and still match whatever is being played, of hearing sounds get closer and become more distance as musicians move between spaces, take elvators, walk up stairs, etc.

In a sense, it felt more like a "live orchestral installation", but a shifting one, rather than a "concert".

Really impressive, as somebody who was sceptical about attending before, I'm really glad I went.

Edit: here's the stream; again, just not as impressive as being there in the space, hearing the sounds reverberate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBSLVPD8AL8

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

negative potential wrote:I was on the fence about whether to start a new thread about this or post to this one, since I suspect it's more on the "classical" side of the spectrum than the "jazz" side, but since it was the opening event of a "jazz" festival, I guess it passes muster.

Anyway, I saw the Anthony Braxton "Sonic Genome" performance at the Martin Gropius Bau last night, and I think, without exaggeration, this is the most impressive live performance of music I have ever attended. In the sense that this is the sort of thing I can _only_ imagine working as a live performance, not as a CD or recording. The performance was broadcast as a livestream on Youtube, but that can't capture the inherent "spatial" experience of the whole thing.

Six hours of performance, with a large ensemble of musicians from different local formations (including quite a few members of the Echtzeitmusik scene) as well as some tried-and-true Braxton disciples like Ingrid Laubrock and Alexander Hawkins. The idea being to disperse small ensembles throughout the Martin Gropius Bau and have them be "recombinant" within the various spaces of the building, converging in the large central court of the museum occasionally for large ensemble pieces.

I've looked at some of the recorded video stream in retrospect and my initial suspicions that this doesn't work as any kind of recorded piece are borne out; central to this was the experience of being _in the building_, of wandering through corridors and hearing sounds from one space waft into another and still match whatever is being played, of hearing sounds get closer and become more distance as musicians move between spaces, take elvators, walk up stairs, etc.

In a sense, it felt more like a "live orchestral installation", but a shifting one, rather than a "concert".

Really impressive, as somebody who was sceptical about attending before, I'm really glad I went.

Edit: here's the stream; again, just not as impressive as being there in the space, hearing the sounds reverberate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBSLVPD8AL8
I saw the note about this on the freejazz blog. Very glad you attended.

On a related note and having never been a large fan of Braxton (I've always like or even loved the quartet stuff with Crispell, Dresser & Hemingway - but maybe loved it more 10 or 15 years ago than now) - and I've basically rarely listened to anything he's recorded or played over the past 20 years until I bought the 4 CD box called Quartet New Haven (2014) with Taylor Ho Bynum, Nels Cline & a drummer I'd never heard of named Greg Saunier.

Maybe my favorite expressive improvisation release I've heard this year. I was always about 75% of Nels Cline but after this I'm 90%. Braxton plays only saxophones (I think 7 different ones from contrabass through sopranino) so no clarinets work for me since for me I've never heard a tone or approach from Braxton on any clarinet that is very appealing. Then once I started with these 4 different hour + or - improvisations I realized the pattern would be Braxton switching from one saxophone to another while Bynum would do the same with his 5 or 6 different brass instruments. With both the low vibrations are most effective and part of me wishes for differentiation of the 4 improvisations with maybe Braxton sticking with 1 or even 3 horns and Bynum doing the same. The low brass (trumphone?) and those beastly sounds from Braxton's contrabass & bass saxophones are very engaging and Cline's accents and drones build the music up to majestic long lasting crescendos. by the 4th disc I was appreciating Saunier quite a bit despite his broad sound. I'm curious what listen 2 to the whole thing will reveal.

Steve

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by negative potential »

If that happens to be on offer on the CD table when I go to the next Braxton show on Sunday, I will be sure to pick it up on your recommendation.

On that late-80s/early-90s Braxton band, I still think Willisau is one of my favorite recordings. Do you ever think about those Crouch/Marsalis "jazz wars" of the 90s in retrospect of 20+ years of listening to it with ears accustomed to "efi", "eai", etc.? My own revised opinion in retrospect is that maybe Crouch et al. had a valid point that Braxton, Cecil, et al. weren't entirely accommodated by the label "jazz", that it probably makes sense to conceive of jazz in terms of definite idiomatic traits that the latter transcend. Which is not to say that Braxton and Cecil aren't still part of the jazz continuum - they definitely play(ed) jazz as well - just that they also transcend it idiomatically. I just think about that statement by John Butcher that Jon Abbey used to quote on Jazzcorner that scandalized so many about jazz being a "historical genre"; in retrospect, I think it _is_ a historical genre; it's repertory music; it's also repertory music that I love to hear performed live, still the best way to experience it, imho, which is why I'll still gladly go see concerts by Brad Mehldau and James Carter whenever I want something that hits all those idiomatic requirements. But it's definitely true that the free jazz/free improvisation artists of the Braxton/Cecil Taylor generation already had one foot extending beyond those idiomatic limits, and that Crouch/Wynton et al. were actually right about that (even if the implicit undertone of their point was to insinuate the music was invalid).

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Re: Great free jazz/improvised albums 2005-2015

Post by Steve Reynolds »

I'm going to think about the above this weekend. I've seen a decent amount of live music over the past 10 years - much of it "jazz" and much of it is closer to some sort of non-jazz improvisation. In retrospect, the quality of the live music I've seen is at least on average maybe at least twice as exciting as I thought it would have been before I started seeing hearing live music fairly regularly back around 2009-2010. And it's better the past few years I think that it was for the first few years - and some of the regulars I see are better and more creative/powerful with more new ideas and modes of improve.

So some kind of lie is dead, I'm just not sure which lie it is.