Middlesex improv band Led Bib nearly defy categorization, except to say that they fit only inside the avant-progressive and improvisational genres, barely. This album covers a lot of ground in four tracks, mainly with a lot of skronk and racket that flows rather nicely. Cuneiform releases another masterpiece.
As I finally had a long stretch of time where I could actually enjoy hearing whole albums again, I decided that RAIC would be Album Number One today. What a revelation this one has turned out to be!
According to the collective’s Bandcamp website for this release, “Chance Operations was inspired by John Cage’s “Silence.” RAIC often brings together musicians who normally would never play together. For Chance Operations, twenty musicians from a wide range of backgrounds- jazz, rock, noise and world music, some with backgrounds in improvisation and some without – came together at Etching Tin Studios in Richmond, Virginia. The musicians’ names were written on different ping pong balls and then placed in a sealed container. In a separate container were balls with the number for the ensemble ranging from a duet to a sextet.” Chance operation, indeed.
The album itself makes for eerie listening. There is one track which stood out for me, “Irrigating An Arid World,” where shrieks, wailing and very sparse instrumentation make one feel like they are on a heavy hallucinogenic trip. The spirit of John Cage having a heavily spiked mushroom tea with Sun Ra and, maybe, Cathy Berberian or Diamanda Galás, permeates this album. The group have a new album coming soon, and I’m already looking forward to hearing much more from them.
I can’t say that I know much about Bulat Gafarov personally, other than he’s both a fine multi-instrumentalist and a friend on Facebook, but he’s really quite an amazing talent. An ethnic Russia, he’s comfortable with music from India, China and Central Asia, as well as the regional music of places like Tatarstan and Siberia.
It pays to scroll through various social media from time to time. Today’s Soundcloud scroll brought me to the music of Bjørnar Habbestad, a Norwegian composer of avant-garde and improvisational music. I don’t know if this particular piece is part of a CD or just a live improv, but this made for some incredibly good listening this afternoon.
Holy smokes! The legendary INA-GRM Record Label out of Paris, France, which housed some of the most legendary names in electroacoustic and avant-garde music, has decided to release selected titles as downloads via Bandcamp, and at reasonable prices!
I have absolutely no information about the Belarus Modern Orchestra (music from Belarus is horribly represented online), but if this is a sample of what their body of work is like, I definitely want to enjoy more of it!
Peter Brötzmann was my introduction to free jazz. The genre is full of brutal music, and it seems that Herr Brötzmann is its (vodka) king. It’s for a good reason. He is a tireless skronker, has more energy in his 70s that many fellow travelers do in their 30s. He also knows whom to collaborate with.
In this piece for the Japanese record label DIW (an old favorite of mine), he collaborates with Shoji Hano, Tetsu Yamauchi and Haruhiko Gotsu in a piece that melds free jazz together with a sort of broken blues. Yes, it’s a mess, but a lovely one.
The end of the year is here, so expect to read many top lists for 2014. All About Jazz points us to John Kelman’s top live choices.