• Music

    Jeff Gburek & Karolina Ossowska – One Moon, Many Shines

    This is some of the best late-night listening I’ve heard in a long time.  Neither Jeff Gburek nor Karolina Ossowska ever fail to please my ears, whether it be with a deep intellectual piece or compositions which teeter on the edge of being mournful, but this one deserves a special place in the collection.  From Jeff’s Bandcamp site: “Inspired in part by a recent renaissance in listening to dhrupad and other music of the Indian subcontinent and early European music, I transformed my standard GDR zither into a swarmandal, developing a full moon raga scale. When I invited Karolina to…

  • Music - Spotify

    [Podcast] JazzBuzz 16: Jazz In Europe

    Our friends at Parasounder Magazine out of Tehran offer a great introduction to jazz in Europe and Iran through their podcast, JazzBuzz.  In this episode, you will hear some fine music, an interview with guitarist Ali Lotfi and more jazz notes, all in Farsi.  I’m proud to support my friends and their music explorations.

  • Music

    Samo Salamon, Arild Andersen & Ra Kalam Bob Moses – Pure and Simple

    This is some fine jazz improv.  The trio of a friend to this blog, guitarist Samo Salamon, working alongside bassist and ECM Records legend Arild Andersen and Ra Kalam Bob Moses, and this group have an incredible way of flowing with each other’s vibes. Samo, of course, absolutely shreds on this album, and Arlid serves as one of the best anchors in the history of jazz, but for me, the one stealing the show is the utterly mad percussion of Ra Kalam Bob Moses, who gives this album a frantic heartbeat.

  • Music

    Jeff Gburek – Omnia Sacra et Miracula

    Our friend and one of our perennial favorites at this blog, Jeff Gburek, comes to us with a mini-LP’s worth of meditative guitar music supplemented with an electro-acoustic bass berimbau, pine cones, and field recordings.  There is an element of twangy, echoey, lo-fi music in these recordings which reminded me of the primordial, primitive guitar stylings of Robbie Basho or John Fahey blended with touches of American psychedelic folk as heard by bands such as Texas’ acid-folk legends Charalambides.

  • Music

    Various Artists – Pyramid Pieces 2

    This is a comp we won’t have to wait too terribly long for.  The Roundtable is a record label out of Melbourne, Australia which documents some phenomenal jazz from down under.  Apparently, the first installment of Pyramid Pieces was a tour-de-force of Australian spiritual jazz, and the comp sold briskly, introducing the world to Jazz Co/Op, the Brian Brown Quintet, the Alan Lee Quartet and others.  In this installment, new names such as Allan Zavod (whose track is the only one available to sample currently), The Charlie Munro, Out To Lunch and several others.  My limited exposure to Aussie jazz…

  • Music

    The Hauchzart Ensemble – Hauchzart Momentum Vol. I

    What a remarkable work this is.  The Hauchzart Ensemble includes our dear colleague Wilfried Hanrath, who plays guitar, bass, drums, beats, synth and electronics on this album, along with Matt Getchell, who also provides electronics, synthesizer and beats. This album takes quite a journey, starting off with a track that, if you can believe it, reminded me of the better aspects of bands like Michael Cretu’s seminal electro-pop band Enigma.  It sounded like a very accessible piece of electronic pop, which was a good start, but then the musicians started to really surprise me with elements of bands like Tuxedomoon…

  • Music

    Southeast of Rain (东南有雨) – 42 Days (四十二天)

    Sophia Shen and Lemon Guo work together as Southeast of Rain (东南有雨), an electroacoustic/field recording project based in the United States, with one living in New York and the other living in the San Francisco Bay area. The album is the result of 42 days of mixing avant-garde experimental music, natural sounds, traditional Chinese instruments and improvisational techniques and sublime vocal work into a gentle, though very experimental album. I request this of everyone, but specifically of my former students in Beijing – take the time to listen to this.  It is a stunningly beautiful piece of work.

  • Music

    Jisr (جسر) – Too Far Away

    It’s a minor tragedy that Jisr have not made their debut album available as a download on Bandcamp, but you can find it over at La Boîte à Musique and Turtle Records in Belgium, Deejay.de and Decks in Germany and surely other fine record shops near you, though I’d pick this up quickly as it’s running out of print everywhere I look. To the music.  This is ecstatic spiritual jazz infused with Kosmische Musik, odd progressive and improvisational rock (think Embryo and Dissidenten, especially since the legendary Roman Bunka is involved in this disc playing oud and guitar), but the…

  • Music

    Makoto Kawabata, Richard Pinhas, Manongo Mujica, Juan Luis Pereira, Hiroshi Higashi – Alturas

    What we have here is an experimental music supergroup.  Makoto Kawabata and Hiroshi Higashi of acid-psych lords Acid Mothers Temple team up with the legendary guitarist Richard Pinhas (famed as the leader of the band Heldon, and still very much active under his own name).  Joining them are two musicians from Peru in Manongo Mujica and Juan Luis Pereira who fill out this psychedelic soundscape. For some context regarding this release, read these notes for the band’s Bandcamp site: When Acid Mothers Temple and Richard Pinhas visited Lima for the first time, in November 2017, to participate in the experimental…