Daniel Carter | Shanir Ezra Blumenkrantz | Kevin Zubek | Chinatown | Not Two Records

This recording by Chinatown an unusual trio made up of downtown’s wildly diverse music scene, finds the venerable free player Daniel Carter still doing his thing, this time with a young, unique rhythm section. Bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz’s playing is muscular and gutteral, and his bowing is turgidly pleasing. On this outing he also shows off his prowess on the oud. Drummer Kevin Zubek, mostly self-taught, has an unconventional drumming style—spacious and asymmetrical, largely eschewing standard jazz or even free jazz rhythms. He sits oddly high at the kit and attacks with what seems an impossibly awkward comportment to some, but produces percussive music that transcends technique. This trio toured Poland last year, where they developed a strong rapport from the sound of it, and landed a recording deal with the Polish label Not Two. — All About Jazz Continue reading

Hubert Bergmann | Yellerwood | Udo Schindler | Rome Hills | Mudoks Record

ROME HILLS, in case of tonal emergency The story behind this music is for the most part unknown. Rome 2012. During a brief stay in February – wandering from place to place in the city, pleasantly warm, every day life in the North now vanishing, somehow a newcomer in this interim spawning ground of being, here where Passolini hinted his portent in the ether. The cafes in which the ether coagulates, barely concealing their peace and tranquility, and each place where memories are celebrated are so old that forgetting now is hardly noticeable. History disappears just around the corner. One who fights “against” this forgetfulness , is an atypical Roman, Massimo, whom I met in front of the now entirely contrived Fiaschetteria, once the hangout and meeting place of Roman artists, who gave me an update of the happenings in the Italian scene. Later in the train while the sounds of AH23 fluttered gently through my mind (I imagined his burning finger and M.’s portrait sunk into the Tiber), a video popped up, totally unexpected, on my google site. John Cage and Cathy Berberian, who performed this mysterious aria in Rome, sang a piece whose link I was able to pull up on my computer – something about “yellow” and “wood” that I later discovered was “Yellerwood.” A voice from the Roman Hills sounded so like Berberian. Then the request on this unknown woman, via Mr. Ricci, if she might be interested in contributing her wonderful voice to recordings done in October 2011 with Udo, a bustling multi-reed man. Something however was missing. Her voice shuttled back and forth, a poem added for garnishment, out of which a new and peculiar world blossomed into a fine mood. Something from Berberian, the utter essence of nature and beauty. Everything that knows itself is sound… No reason to crash… Hubert Bergmann Continue reading

Misha Feigin | Both Kinds Of Music

If you’ve never heard a free-style jazz duet between a balalaika and a dobro, and you have a desire to do so, this CD should appeal to you. Actually, this is much more than a novelty album, as Feigin strums his guitar-like balalaika and classical guitar through seven jazz duets with Elliot Sharp (dobro), Davey Williams (electric guitar), Craig Hultgren (cello), LaDonna Smith (violin), and Eugene Chadbourne (banjo and guitar). The star billing is entirely appropriate, as each track is a stunning display of string improvisation. There is lots of variety as not only do the instruments and players alternate, but so do the free improvisations. Surprisingly accessible and at times even soothing, there is plenty of stridency, too. The duel with Hultgren is a particular highlight, as the violinist dances gingerly, without missing a step. Feigin (no relation to Leo Feigin, the producer) is strong throughout and a perfect partner. — Steve Loewy Continue reading