• Music - Qobuz - Spotify

    Alexei Aigui & Arkady Marto – DA

    This should be a breakout year for Alexei Aigui, who has released his fourth album of the year in collaboration with pianist Arkady Marto. The album is absolutely sublime. Each track has a gentle touch, balancing violin and piano perfectly. The cornerstone of the album for me is this track, Nocturne No. 0: It is a tango that would have made Ástor Piazzlla proud. The whole album is engaging, and would have made for perfect music for a dramatic film (something Alexei has been making for several years now, with great success). As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, if you…

  • Music

    Jeff Gburek – Works Within the Upright Ruins of the Kaszubian Piano, 2015​/​2021

    Our first review on returning to Brno is a burner, naturally.  Our friend, man of the world, and experimental music composer Jeff Gburek comes by these pages again with a droning masterpiece. This is not the ordinary drone you hear reviewed on these pages, though, truth be told, nothing I review is even remotely ordinary.  The backstory is almost as impressive as these waves of hypnotic (in the best of senses) drones are. To catch the whole story, read Jeff’s writeup on how this fine album came to be.  When he advised me of the album the word Kaszubian brought…

  • Music

    Gideon Nxumalo – Gideon Plays

    Gideon Plays is apparently seen as a holy grail of South African jazz collectors.  Judging by the performance of pianist and maribist Gideon Nxumalo, this should be seen for what it is – a spiritual jazz masterpiece.  The album swings and grinds through eight tracks of bopping good music. Matsuli Music continues to reissue some astoundingly good music.

  • Music

    Roman Stolyar – Right Back from Bosnija

    I’m delighted to share a piece from my old friend, the Siberian composer and multi-instrumentalist Roman Stolyar.  This nearly 20-minute improvisation was recorded live on July 30, 2021 at the MMMESSS studio in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  The piano-playing is quick, sharp, with each keystroke coming at you like waves of noise.  A great example of Russian free jazz.

  • Music - Spotify

    Corciolli – Valse D’Adieu

    The word seems to be burning at the moment.  All around, there is misery, anger and a sense of hopelessness.  One can either be consumed by it (and it’s been a battle not to be), or you can relax, listen to something calming, and get on with life. Corciolli is a pianist out of Brazil who also owns the record label Azul Music who specialize in releasing classical and world music. Some words from the label regarding this release: In a minimalist and stripped-down approach, VALSE D´ADIEU, new single from Brazilian film composer Corciolli,  stands out for its simplicity and spontaneity.…

  • Music

    Selen Gülün – TRE

    I’ve been looking forward to hearing Selen Gülün’s latest release, and to say I’m not disappointed would be an understatement.  I had spent the day listening to John Cage after lunching with my priest, and then this record came on.  The first track, Ah, Tu Dici!, blended into Cage’s Three Easy Pieces as naturally as could be, though Selen’s track is both better recorded and slightly darker, which makes it that much more favorable to my ears. The second track, Cicli E Punti, lets saxophonist Dario Fariello and cellist Stellan Veloce run wild. I’d expect this sort of improvisation on…

  • Music

    Manne Skafvenstedt – Archway

    This was a happy surprise.  Manne Skafvenstedt is a Swedish pianist, composer and producer who works in the fields of jazz, ambient, electronics and sound design.  His latest album, Archway, is a calming experience.  There is a sort of sweetness to this music, where the listener actually feels good enjoying these sounds.  It’s not the sugary nonsense one hears in lower quality New Age or modern ambient music.  This resonates, and it might be because he is also a professional sound designer while he’s not busy composing. I have no doubt that those who enjoy the works of Robert Rich,…

  • Music

    Gleb Kolyadin – Gleb Kolyadin

    Russian progressive rock band iamthemorning have been at the forefront of the symphonic rock scene for nearly a decade now, and a lot of the reason for the band’s success lies with their pianist, Gleb Kolyadin, whose composing style reminds me of a lot of bands from the 1970s with far better recording studio access. This is Gleb’s solo debut record, which was released in 2018.  The music is as dense as it is with iamthemorning, but there is a more varied cast of prog rock superstars participating here. The personnel on this album are: Gleb Kolyadin – grand piano,…

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    Joseph Benzola – When You Get to Saturn, Make a Left.

    I cannot think of any genre of music percussionist and composer Joseph Benzola doesn’t sound comfortable working in.  There might be some bizarre concoction lying dormant in the underground somewhere, but it’s not worth wasting one’s time thinking much about. This collection puts together what sounds something similar to Balinese percussion on the first track, Improv 24 November 2019, and then smoothly transitions to atonal piano music, then some improvisational music, and so on. The variation of styles, and how well everything meshes together, is impressive. Hints of Alban Berg, Sun Ra, jazz played at a bar over a scotch…

  • Music

    Andrew Land – (Making Good) Defects

    Andrew Land is a composer out of Birmingham, England whose work is simple and rhythmic, played in an elegant manner, without sounding simplistic.  It’s minimalistic, so those of you who enjoy the works of Harold Budd, Philip Glass or even Hans-Joachim Roedelius may want to pass your time enjoying this EP. If you prefer to stream the release, Andrew obliges you at his Spotify account.