Irene Schweizer, Joey Baron – “Live” (Intakt, 2017)

“Live” is one of the newest albums released by “Intakt Records” this month. The album was recorded by two famous jazz musicians – American drummer Joey Baron and European jazz master pianist Irene Schweizer. These two musicians through creative and musical activity years had recorded numerous of albums with other famous jazz musicians. Irene Schweizer was a part “Feminist Improvising Group” with Lindsay Cooper, Maggie Nichols, Georgie Born and Sally Potter. She also played duos with Pierre Favle, Luis Moholo, Hamid Drake, Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Peter Kowald and many others. Joey Baron frequently plays with Bill Frisell and John Zorn, also with Red Ronnie, Fred Hersch, Enrico Pieranunzi and others. This album is a great opportunity to hear two avant-garde jazz masters playing together.

This album music is live, colorful and combined from many different elements. Free jazz, creative and other styles of experimental jazz are combined with bebop, post-bop and some elements of traditional jazz. The compositions are based on collective improvisations by two outstanding musician. They both have their own and original sound and improvising style. Evocative, colorful and expressive piano melodies are put against slow, relaxing and calm episodes. The piano melodies are the main element of the compositions – Irene Schweizer solos are full of unpredictable turns, sharp harmony, dissonances and other musical expressions. The pianist also use many extended playing techniques – glissando, very fast arpeggios and other virtuosic elements are just a part of it. She also try out different ways of playing – sometimes her playing is very soft and slow, sometimes – aggresive, sharp or even provocative. The wide variety of colors, sounds, playing techniques and other musical expressions create dynamic mood of the compositions. Drummer Joey Baron playing is as much original as Irene Schweizer. He try out many different rhythms and playing techniques – loud drum rolls, fanfares, virtuosic solos combine with static and monotonic rhythmic. Because of very strongly heard melodies and rhythms all compositions of the album have very solid rhythmic and melodic basements which are putted together one against other. The rhythmic of the compositions is as colorful and interesting as piano melodies – all these elements are essentially mixed together in one composition.

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Brian Belet – “Sufficient Trouble” (Ravello Records, 2017)

“Sufficient Trouble” – that’s one of the several months ago albums released by “Ravello Records”. This album consists of Brian Belet compositions. Brian Belet is an American composer and performer. He had earned Doctor of Musical Arts In Compositions from the University of Illinois in 1990. Brian Belet music is based on contemporary academical and electronic music. Various acoustic instruments and plenty of different electronics elements are mixed together in his compositions. He mostly writes compositions for solo instruments and chamber ensembles. Electronic music experiments and acoustic instruments sounds create original and interesting musical pattern and sound. The composer masterfully combine absolutely different music elements and expressions in one composition. “Sufficient Trouble” was played by various artists.

This album compositions are based on main elements of Brian Belet composing style – professionally used electronic and computer music elements are essentially combinated with various acoustic instruments. The musical pattern is based on different instruments, electronic music elements, acoustic instruments solos, polyphonic facture, aleatoric and atonal music. This high variety of music styles and elements create extraordinary sound. Each composition has its own and individual sound but the main element which connect the all compositions is the acoustic and electronic music synthesis. Soft, silent and calm music episodes turn out to dramatic, colorful and expressive melodies which are full of many different playing techniques and musical expressions. Traditional musical expressions and techniques such as glissando or pizzicato are essentially mixed with electronic music. The main elements of electornic music which are heard mostly in these compositions are voice records, tape records, computer devices sounds, strange and extraordinary timbres and many other elements. These elements bring more live and extraordinary sound to musical pattern of mostly compositions. Brian Belet compositions which are in this album are based on same elements as other compositions – it recovers interesting and original his composing style and effective sound.

Trevor Babb – “Warmth” (Innova, 2017)

Trevor Babb: Warmth

“Warmth” – it’s the new contemporary classical music album released by “Innova Records”. The compositions by Steve Reich, Paul Kerekis, David Lang, James Tenney, Trevor Babb and Carle Testa are recorded in this album. Album has wide and interesting variety of contemporary music styles, especially electronic and experimental music. Album compositions were written for multiple electric guitar, electronics and other acoustic instruments. The compositions were performed by various musicians.

This album compositions have their own and individual sound. Each composition is written by different composer and based on various contemporary music styles. Steve Reich composition “Electric Counterpoint” has 3 parts. All of them are based on typical Steve Reich style elements – minimalism, repetitive rhythmic, simple harmony and melodies create effective sound. All these elements essentially mixed together and create a meditative and effective music mood. The musical pattern is based on simple and repetitive elements which are mixed together. Acoustic instruments and electronics are combinated together in this composition. Electronic and experimental music styles are also mixed in this composition.

After Steve Reich “Electric Counterpoint” there comes compositions by other famous composers – Paul Kerekis “Trail”, David Lang “Warmth”, James Tenney “Septet” and Trevor Babb “Grimace” and the finally one – “Slape 2” by Carle Testa. These compositions have very wide musical pattern and are based on extraordinary instrumentation decisions. They are contrasting with each other – evocative, expressive, sometimes even aggresive and provocative episodes are essentially mixed with singular sounds, extraordinary timbres, soft and calm melodies, homophonic chirds, sonic system sounds. The main part of this album compositions reflect the contemporary music styles and ideas – minimalism, post-minimalism, electronic music, aleatory and atonal music are essentially mixed together. There also are many dramatic episodes where’s heard very much of electronics, sharp harmony and separate sounds of singular instruments. The most part of the compositions don’t usually have a strong melodic pattern – the separate sounds, strange timbres connect with expressive and contrastic melodies. The compositions of this album reflect and show the main elements of famous contemporary music composers style, which is full of innovative and original musical decisions.

 

Tom Rainey Obbligato – “Float Upstream” (Intakt, 2017)

“Float Upstream” – it’s one of the newest release by “Intakt Records” which was released this month. Album was recorded by a group of talented jazz musicians – Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophones), Kris Davis (piano), Drew Gress (bass) and Tom Rainey (bass) which is called “Tom Rainey Obbligato”. The musicians of this collective don’t need to be introduced – through the years of creative activity they had already created their own original and interesting playing style, innovative and creative improvising. They try out many different playing techniques, create and search out for new and unheard timbres, mix together various music styles and elements. The musicians had been improvising together many times already so their melodies, expressive improvisations are professionally combined together in one composition.

Album has 7 compositions. Each of them are based on avant-garde jazz, bebop, blues and other traditional jazz styles synthesis. The episodes of the compositions are strongly contrasting with each other – slow and calm melodies which are based on blues elements, static rhythmic and simple harmony are connected together with collective improvisations by all ensemble musicians. The main element of these improvisations is expressive and colorful melodies, dialogues between several instruments which also are full of virtuosic elements and contrastic episodes. The musicians try out many different playing techniques – not just traditional, but also innovative and extraordinary ones. This variety of playing techniques and sound experiments create many strange and unheard timbres which make the musical pattern more colorful and interesting. Music of this album also has the most effective and interesting parts – there are many expressive and colorful dialogues between saxophones and trumpet. Interesting, full of stylistic turns and sounds, creative and free – these music episodes recover the most glamorous sound of the album. Synthesis of various jazz styles,professional and creative improvising of talented musicians make original and innovative sound of this album.

Kimmig/Studer/Zimmerlin – “Im Hellen – String Trio”

Im Hellen - String Trio — Alfred Zimmerlin, Daniel Studer, Harald Kimmig, Kimmig-Studer-Zimmerlin, Kimmig–Studer–Zimmerlin

“Im Hellen – String Trio” is a new academic avant-garde release which was recently released. Album was recorded by Swiss string trio – violinist Harald Kimmig, bassist Daniel Studer and cellist Alfred Zimmerlin. The trio try out many innovative and modern playing techniques, search out for new and unheard timbres, perform various sound experiments. Their music isn’t exactly academic avant-garde – it have a strong synthesis with experimental jazz and free improvisation. The trio had played other famous musicians and groups of modern classical music and experimental jazz. All three musicians have original and interesting playing style – their music is unpredictable, has extraordinary and effective sound. Harald Kimmig is a German violinist and composer which musical activity is based on free improvisational music. Daniel Studer compositions are based on free improvisation and various mixed forms of avant-garde jazz and experimental music. Alfred Zimmerlin is cellist and composer. He had studied musicology, ethnomusicology and composition at Zurich University. The main part of his compositions is written for various chambre ensembles, acoustic instruments are mixed with electronics and computer music. He also pay high attention to improvised music – his compositions usually have free form, improvised melodies and are based on extraordinary and creative sound. All three musicians had been improvising together for a long time. They had recorded many albums which have original and interesting sound.

Album has 9 compositions. All of them are based on free improvisation and academic avant-garde. The musicians play their own compositions. The synthesis of academic avant-garde, experimental jazz and free improvisation is the main element of these compositions. Musicians try out many different playing techniques – traditional and innovative which expand the technical abilities of the instruments and create high variety of strange timbres and sounds. The music is based on polyphonic facture – different melodies, subtle solos and various timbres combine together in one composition. Even though the melodies are very different from each other their connect together and make original and effective sound. The music has various moods but the main part of the compositions are slow, calm, based on subtle and soft melodic episodes, singular sounds and timbres. The melodic basement of the most compositions is very low – it mostly contains of short and intensive episodes and sounds. Sometimes music gets too static and calm but the most part of it have interesting and effective sound.

 

Peter Brötzmann, Steve Swell, Paal Nilssen-Love – “Live in Copenhagen” (Catalytic Sound, 2017)

“Live In Copenhagen” – it’s the new avant-garde jazz album released this month by “Catalytic Sound Records”. Album was recorded by three jazz legends – Peter Brotzmann (saxophone, clarinet), Steve Swell (trombone) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums, percussion). All three musicians are the legends of avant-garde jazz. Their expressive and energetic improvisations always have interesting, active and extraordinary sound. High variety of different playing techniques, strong blow outs and virtuosic solos by reeds, drums tremolos, various percussion sounds and timbres, expressive melodies – these elements are just a part of these musicians improvisations. Their original and unique sound, playing style and expressive improvising was created over the years of creative activity. As a trio musicians have been improvising many times. Their improvisations are especially active, energetic, loud and dynamic.

Album has 5 compositions. All compositions are based on collective improvisations. Loud, active and sharp solos, outstanding and marvelous Peter Brotzmann blow outs, dynamic Steve Swell solos are connected with Paal Nilssen-Love drums rolls, tremolos, various percussion elements and rhythms. The musicians improvising is just like in other earlier albums – exciting, expressive, very energetic, active, colorful and contrastic. They try out many different playing techniques, expand the technical abilities of their instruments and show extraordinary and original sound. Even the melodies are absolutely different from each other, all music elements are masterfully connected in one composition. This album is another one opportunity to hear three avant-garde jazz legends improvising together. Active, evocative and virtuosic solos connect with soft, slower and more calm episodes. These contrastic episodes combinations leads to collective improvisations which are the bursts of energy and are full of loud, active and very interesting solos. Innovative musical experiments, special sound effects, extended playing techniques and masterful improvising of three jazz legends create original and interesting sound of this album.

Greg Mills, Eric Mandat – “New Music For Clarinet And Piano” (Freedonia Music, 2017)

Greg Mills & Eric Mandat | New Music for Clarinet and Piano

“New Music For Clarinet And Piano” is a new contemporary classical music and avant-garde jazz album which was recently released by “Freedonia Music” recording company. This album is a retrospective of contemporary classical music, academic avant-garde and experimental jazz compositions. The compositions of the album were played by two outstanding soloists – Greg Mills (piano) and Eric Mandat (clarinet). These two musicians have original playing style which main elements are expressive and free improvising, dynamic and virtuosic solos, memorable and lively melodies full of contrasts and stylistic waves. Other very important element is professional, precisely and creative playing. They try out many different playing techniques, various traditional and modern musical expressions and innovative musical decisions. The compositions which they play are the synthesis between experimental jazz and academical avant-garde.

Album has 10 compositions. All of them are originally write by various composers such as Morton Feldman, Krzysztof Penderecki and other postmodern classical music composers. Greg Mills and Eric Mandat create spontaneous improvisations based on the basic themes and elements of these compositions. Their improvisations are based on collective improvisations. Rapidly, active and expressive piano melodies, free and creative improvisations, high variety of extended playing techniques and musical expressions and many other elements reveal extraordinary and interesting sound of famous composers compositions. Greg Mills melodies are full of virtuosic elements, colorful harmony, dynamic rhythmic, innovative and modern playing techniques combinations, expressive and active solos. Eric Mandat clarinet and bass clarinet melodies also are very interesting and expressive, but it’s also are full of various musical experiments – innovative playing techniques, dynamic and contrastic solos which have high variety of strange timbres and sounds. Eric Mabdat is using traditional and extended playing techniques, other innovative musical decisions reveal original and modern sound and expand instrument technical abilities. High variety of strange and unheard timbres isn’t the only element which make these compositions sound creative and colorful. The combinations of various music styles and genres are heard very much in these compositions – academic avant-garde and postmodern classical music are combined with avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. This synthesis of two very individual music styles make effective and innovative sound. Inventive and creative musicians, variety of different music styles, playing techniques and musical expressions create modern and innovative sound of this album compositions.