Noël Akchoté, KCS, Mary Halvorson, Joachim Badenhorst, Brad Jones, Han Bennink – “KCS (Kansas City Sessions) (Deluxe Edition) ” (SR, 2017)

“KCS (Kansas City Sessions) (Deluxe Edition) ” – it’s another one new album released this summer by experienced and creative avant-garde jazz masters. This album was recorded by Joachim Badenhorst (clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone), Mary Halvorson (electric guitar), Noël Akchoté (electric guitar, musical direction), Brad Jones (double bass) and Han Bennink (drums). The compositions played by these musicians are usually based on avant-garde and modern jazz styles synthesis with other music styles. Their creative, expressive, free and dynamic playing is the main part of their original and unique playing style and improvising. All these musicians don’t need to be introduced because they all are very well known for all avant-garde jazz music listeners.

Album has 10 compositions. There are jazz standards and original compositions composed by members of the quintet. The compositions are based on avant-garde jazz, blues, swing and other traditional jazz styles synthesis. These absolutely different jazz styles are combined together very organic and masterfully. Effective, dynamic and expresssive sound of compositions are full of colorful and soft harmony, slow and calm solos, expressive melodies and rhythms -these elements are main part of these compositions. Traditional and famous jazz standards are played in a new and original way – blues, swing and on other traditional jazz styles based compositions are masterfully combined with collective free jazz improvisations. Famous avant-garde jazz improvisers replay famous jazz standards and create interesting and effective sound – they try out different musical expressions, playing techniques and search for a strange and peculiar sounds and timbres. Their experience, creativity and free improvisations create an outstanding sound of this album. This album has expressive and relaxing sound and is very suitable for a calm and relaxing summer evening or “easy-listening”.


Darren Johnston & Tim Daisy – “Crossing Belmont” (Relay Recordings, 2017)

“Crossing Belmont” is another one new album released this month by “Relay Recordings”. Album had been played by two marvelous avant-garde jazz masters – trumpeter Darren Johnston and drummer, percussionist Tim Daisy. These two musicians don’t need to be introduced – through long years of creative activity they had been recorded many albums with various ensembles and avant-garde jazz masters. They are active and creative musicians who keep collaborating with other avant-garde jazz masters, are creating new projects and searching for a new and innovative sound of their music. Their music has interesting and modern sound – different musical expressions, styles and other elements are heard in their improvisations. Tim Daisy and Darren Johnston had been improvising together many times as a duet and with other jazz musicians. Their improvisations always have creative, interesting and original sound.

Album has 2 compositions which are based on avant-garde jazz. Free, dynamic and expressive collective improvisations, constantly changing rhythmic, high diversity of various musical expressions, dynamics and other elements, contrastic elements putting together one after each other, sharp and colorful harmony – these musical elements are the main part of compositions. Both musicians are outstanding improvisers. They try out many different musical expressions, sound effects and playing techniques. Their music is changing all the time – sometimes they play very joyful and expressive, sometimes the sound turns to be calm and soft or very rigorous and sharp. The masterful and interesting improvising and inventive musical decisions is one of the main element which create original and sound of these compositions. Both musicians duets have especially effective sound – there are two different melodies sounding at the same time. Virtuosic, expressive and dynamic trumpet melodies full of stylistic waves and unpredictable turns masterfully combine with high variety of drums rhythms and percussion sounds. Dynamic and outstanding improvising, variety of musical expressions and playing techniques create effective and interesting sound of this album.

Ken Vandermark/Klaus Kugel/Mark Tokar – “Escalator” (NotTwo Records, 2017)

“Escalator” is the newest album played by three great avant-garde jazz masters Ken Vandermark, Klaus Kugel and Mark Tokar. The album was released this week by “NotTwo Records”. The musicians of the trio are very well-known for all who are interested in free jazz – it’s Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, clarinet), Klaus Kugel (drums, percussion) and Mark Tokar (double bass). These musicians are famous for original and unique playing style, innovative and expressive improvising, effective and interesting sound of their compositions. During the years of creative activity they had recorded numerous albums with various ensembles and avant-garde jazz legends such as Peter Brotzmann, Paal Nilssen-Love, Joe Morris, Ab Baas, Joe McPhee, Lasse Marhaug and many others. Their improvisations are based on avant-garde jazz and modern jazz styles synthesis. The most part of the albums are full of live, free and dynamic sound compositions. The compositions of “Escalator” were recorded at “Alchemia Club” in Krokow in 2016.

The album has 5 compositions which is based on avant-garde jazz elements. Free, live and expressive collective improvisations also have modern jazz elements – monotonic and fast rhythmic, sharp harmony and very fast and virtuosic solos. The elements of bebop, post-bop and avant-garde jazz synthesis together in one composition. Improvisations are full of different musical expressions and sound experiments. The musicians try out new and innovative playing techniques, their melodies are very fast, emotional, virtuosic and expressive. Masterful solos, full of very fast virtuosic pasages, blow outs and other elements are the main element of the compositions. The variety of strange and peculiar timbres and sounds is also very important part of improvisations because it makes the sound of compositions even more interesting and effective. The improvisations of this album are very dynamic and contrastic with each other – episodes based on different modern and avant-garde jazz styles are combined together. The sound is very dynamic and constantly changing – fast, active, rigorous and sharp collective improvisations suddenly turns out to calm and slow episodes there double bass is heard very much. Subtle and dynamic double bass melodies, various sounds of percussion and slow saxophone melodies are the main elements of these episodes. So this music is full of surprises and stylistic waves – live, active, innovative and expressive improvisations of great avant-garde jazz masters create interesting and modern sound of these compositions.

ZWERV – “ZWERV Live” (Creative Source Recordings, 2017)

“ZWERV Live” it’s the newest album played by Amsterdam free jazz quintet “ZWERV” and released last week by “Creative Source Recordings”. “ZWERV” is a avant-garde jazz ensemble which members are talented and experienced jazz improvisers – that’s Raoul van der Weide (bass, objects), George Hadow (drums), Henk Zwerver (guitar), Ziv Taubenfeld (bass clarinet) and Luis Vincente (trumpet). All musicians have their own and unique sound and original playing style which is also based on different music styles and various Europe countries music. The musicians had been improvising with other great avant-garde jazz masters such as John Dikeman, Goncalo Almeida, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Evan Parker, Chris Speed, Jonathan Hafner, André Fernandes, Joost Buis, Marco Franco, Steve Heather, Mette Rasmussen and many others. The “ZWERV” musicians also have their own jazz ensembles and are participating in many other projects with other musicians. Their music is live, original, creative and very dynamic. The sound is full of innovative playing techniques, sound experiments, special effects and other modern music elements.

The album has 6 compositions which is based on  avant-garde jazz. The avant-garde jazz elements are combined with various modern jazz styles such as bebop, post-bop and others. Their collective improvisations have original and interesting sound which is created with many different music elements and styles. Monotonic or dynamic rhythmic, sharp or very soft harmony, colorful and interesting instrumentation, special effects and sound experiments – these are the main elements of compositions. The musicians try to search new and strange timbres – that’s why their improvisations are full of various sound experiments. They also try out new and modern playing techniques and musical expressions. Free, active and expressive melodies are integrated with slow and soft episodes which have no melodic basic just singular sounds and timbres. This contrast between two very different improvisations is heard in all compositions. It effects original and interesting sound of all compositions of this album.


Bulliphant – “Hightailing” (Creative Source Recordings, 2017)

“Hightailing” – it’s experimental jazz album released this week by “Creative Source Recordings”. Album had been played by talented jazz experimentators quintet “Bulliphant” which members are Bart Maris (trumpet, piccolo trumpet), Ruben Verbruggen (alto and baritone saxophone), Thijs Troch (synth and electronics), Gonçalo Almeida (double bass) and Friso van Wijck (drums and percussion). The ensemble leader saxophonist Ruben Verbruggen also have his own group “Spoken Saxophone Quartet”. He also had played with “Bravo Big Band”, “Jamaican Jazz Orchestra”, “Den Ambrassband” and others. Bart Maris is famous Belgium trumpet player. He had collaborated with other various avant-garde jazz players and ensembles. His music is based on experimental jazz and musical experiments. Thijs Troch is a pianist, but he also professionally manage the electronics and synth. His music is based on high variety of electronic and computer music elements combining them with various jazz styles. The other member of this ensemble is famous Portugal bassist Goncalo Almeida. He plays the music between modern and avant-garde jazz, collaborates with various jazz musicians all over the world. Virtuosic, creative and original playing style and free improvising are the main elements of his music. Goncalo Almeida had played with Ab Baars, Balasz Pandi, Chris Speed, Carlos Zíngaro, Fred Lonberg-Holm and other jazz masters. Friso van Wijck is a drummer and percussionist. His music has high variety of rhythms, sounds and timbres, it also is very dynamic, organic and expressive.

Album has 12 compositions. All the compositions are based on avant-garde jazz and various modern jazz styles such as bebop and post-bop synthesis. Collective improvisations, free and expressive musicians solos, dynamic rhythmic and colorful instrumentation – these are the main elements of improvisations. Each musician is improvising very different from other. Their melodies are based on different music styles – saxophone melodies have more bebop and other modern jazz styles elements, though trumpet improvisations are free, rigorous and expressive experimental jazz melodies. The percussion and drums effecting the rapid and dynamic sound of the compositions – the high variety of singular sounds, strange timbres are heard. The bass is playing very contrastic most of the time – virtuosic and rapid melodies combine with subtle, slow and soft episodes. The sound of acoustic instruments merges with electronics and synth sounds. The electronics are used subtle and organic in this comppositions. Computer sounds, electronics and other special effects are harmoniously connected with acoustic instruments melodies. The musicians also pay attention to musical experiments – they search for strange timbres, peculiar singuliar noises, are using special electronic effects and computer music elements. The high variety of musical expressions, expressive and dynamic improvisations, creative and talented musicians create original and interesting sound of this album.

Danny Kamins / Damon Smith / Alvin Fielder / Joe Hertenstein – “After Effects” (FMR, 2017)

“After Effects” – it’s one of the newest albums released this month. Album had been played by four great avant-garde jazz masters – Danny Kamins (baritone sax), Damon Smith (double bass), Alvin Fielder (drums, percussion) and Joe Hertenstein (drums, percussion). These four musicians are very well-known in avant-garde jazz scene. Their innovative and creative improvising, inventive and expressive musical decisions, emotional and memorable melodies and many other elements are the main elements of these musicians playing style. Musicians try out many different playing techniques, musical expressions, combine very contrastic music styles in one composition. The quartet had been improvising together in the same ensemble many times. Four great jazz masters gently complement each other in all improvisations. Different melodies and music elements are masterfully combined together. The newest album “After Effects” had been recorded by “FMR Records”.

Album has 10 compositions. All compositions are based on avant-garde jazz elements. Energetic, rigorous and dynamic collective improvisations, virtuosic and expressive solos of the musicians contrasting with each other, repetitive rhythmic and high variety of different music expressions – these are the main elements of improvisations. The musicians are improvising masterfully and creative. Their improvisations are full of inventive musical decisions, modern and innovative playing techniques, subtle and slow solos or rapidly, playful and expressive melodies. They also search out for a peculiar and strange noises, singular sounds and timbres. Rhythmic of the compositions also is very contrasting – there are many different rhythmic formulas which are organically combined together. The rhythms of Africa ethnic music,North America music styles and European contemporary classical music elements sound glamorous in one improvisation. There’s also heard high diversity of dynamics, harmony and other musical expressions which are used in these improvisations. Colorful and interesting harmony and instrumentation, contrastic and inventive dynamic and other music elements are affecting modern sound of these improvisations. Professionally and talented jazz masters, improvisations, full of many different music styles and elements, creative, inventive and dynamic improvising create an original and interesting sound of this album.

Mike Reed – “Flesh & Bone” (SR, 2017)

“Flesh & Bone” – it’s a recently released avant-garde jazz album played by Mike Reed and his ensemble. Avant-garde jazz drummer Mike Reed recorded this album with other great experimental jazz masters – Greg Ward (alto saxophone), Tim Haldeman (tenor saxophone), Jason Roebke (bass), Ben Lamar Gay (cornet), Jason Stein (bass clarinet) and Marvin Tate (words). The improvisations played by these musicians have extraordinary and original sound. Special sound effects, words and musical experiments combine with active, memorable and dynamic acoustic instruments melodies. The musicians are talented and experienced experimental jazz masters. They pay high attention to search and create original and creative sound.

Album has 11 compositions. All of them have high variety of music styles. Avant-garde jazz, bebop, post-bop, funk, traditional and contemporary mainstream jazz elements are conformed together in one composition. Different music styles influence contrasts which are the main part of compositions. The compositions are based n high variety of music elements contrasting with each other. They are absolutely different from each other and are based on various music styles and expressions. Memorable and remarkable melodies, short and extraordinary musicians solos, high variety of innovative playing techniques, special sound effects and words – these are the main elements of compositions. The musicians try out extraordinary and exclusive playing techniques, search for a new and unheard timbres and sounds. These sound and timbres experiments effect the sound of compositions – it help to create glamorous and striking sound. The album doesn’t have one music style on which is based all compositions – the improvisations are based on variety of different jazz styles gently combined together. Creative, effective and free improvising, the diversity of music styles and expressions and other elements create a dynamic and genuine sound.