The stand-up comic begins, "I went to a day of rage riot the other day, and a Moppa Elliott concert broke out." He might continue with, "Take my jazz canon, please." That is just what the bassist's quartet, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, does—seize the jazz standard and demolish it. The Coimbra Concert is the first live recording by the group, following its fourth studio record, Forty Fort (Hot Cup, 2009).
Beautiful albums do not need many words. Pianist and composer Angelica Sanchez has invited Wadada Leo Smith to join her for a duo album, recorded in April of last year. Sanchez is a member of the trumpeter's "Organic" Ensemble, whose "Heart's Reflections" also received a 5-star rating on this blog. Smith made one trumpet-piano duo album before, "Interludes Of Breath & Substance" with Matthew Goodheart, which was good, but this one is truly excellent.
Slovenian guitar ace Samo Salamon fronts a European ensemble akin to one of those legendary all-star jazz summits, but of course these colorific works veer off into an experimental wonderland of improvisation with split-second paradigm shifts amid the ensemble's synergistic discourses. Nonetheless, the respective musicians are at the top of their game here, as Salamon arranged for drummers Roberto Dani and Christian Lillinger to generate the seismic currents by staying in synch but not necessarily executing the same patterns.
This exceptional live document finds legendary free jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders collaborating with cornetist Rob Mazurek and members of the Sao Paulo Underground and Chicago Underground Duo. Mazurek takes a leading role for the most part, joined by Sanders in his regular volcanic, spiritual state of playing and supported dutifully by percussionist Maurício Takara, drummer Chad Taylor, bassist Matt Lux, and multi-instrumentalist Guilherme Granado. The disc tends toward the more experimental and tumultuous side of things, with processed synth sounds clashing with the explosive organic instrumentation in a way that brings to mind Sun Ra's rudimentary synth experimentation on his early-'70s Saturn Records output.
Chris Lightcap is a bassist's bassist. As a sideman to leaders such as Regina Carter, Matt Wilson, Joe Morris, Marc Ribot, and Craig Taborn, his rock-solid timekeeping can be quite inconspicuous. He is a sort of steadfast superglue that leaders and composers hold in high regard. As a leader and composer, there is another Chris Lightcap. Epicenter, is his third Bigmouth release, following the quintet Deluxe (Clean Feed, 2010) and a quartet Bigmouth (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2002). He continues to display his ability to sculpt music utilizing a two-tenor saxophone lineup.
Something so special as this European project would need to have a future. After a first recording with the joined forces of British legendary saxophonist Evan Parker and the very special Scandinavian rhythm section of Sten Sandell (piano), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), here is the double CD that confirms the superband status of the Townhouse Orchestra. Not an orchestra, in spite of the name, but a quartet, truth is it sometimes sound as such. The extensive techniques used by the performers multiply the possibilities of each instrument, opening up the perspectives of the music played.
Martin Küchen is naive and desperate, and maybe only because of that one might feel that each of his albums has a message. If this message may seem political, its sense is profoundly about human undertakings, and “Epileptical West”, recorded live in Coimbra, Portugal, during the Jazz ao Centro festival, is no exception. Born in Sweden with a German father with a mixed background , he’s known not only for his innovative saxophone playing (going from the soprano to the baritone, here centered on the alto) and his ear-catching compositions, but also for his very critical statements regarding the Israeli and the American policies in relation to Palestine and the Palestinians.