Jazz on the Line | No Boundaries | Edgetone Records

This is the first CD recording of the band founded by a then young Rent Romus called Jazz on the Line released in 1991. This genre founding album featured a cross section of jazz with hints of pre-acid jazz that became the fad hitting the west coast during the mid-nineties. It featured Rent Romus during his college years at UC Santa Cruz as well as Jason Olaine who went on to become the driving force behind the success that is Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland California, Ben Leinbach who worked with artists such as Jai Utal and pianist and now doctorate and author Stefano Dezerega. This was also the debut recording for vocalist Anna Gurski. Continue reading

Rent Romus’ Lords of Outland | You’ll Never Be The Same! | Edgetone Records

This raw, gut level, on the edge recording places the listener smack dab in the middle of Blondie’s Jazz Bar in San Francisco on a cold night in February 1995. YOU’LL NEVER BE THE SAME is a musical journey combining a prima sense of groove and improvisation with Romus’ “X” generation angst. This seven-cut release pushes the envelope with Romus’ original compositions, which follows a gut level groove, and then builds upon that structure with free form improvisation. The music takes the attitude of the grunge music movement, and incorporates it into an acoustic, improvised setting. Through this concept of strange bedfellows the music appeals to the hard core jazz fan as well as the alternative music fan.

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Noertker’s Moxie | Sketches of Catalonia Vol. 1: Suite for Dali | Edgetone Records

Inspired by the paintings of Salvador Dali and bassist Bill Noertker’s journeys through Catalonia, Sketches of Catalonia takes the listener to a place were jazz melts into surrealism. What Dali did for painting, this CD does for jazz. Deep swing morphs into circus melodies. Beauty fades into cacophony. At times raucous, at times pensive, always soulful, this CD takes you on an aural pilgrimage to Catalonia, birthplace of many innovative artists. In the last decade, Bill Noertker has composed over 150 original pieces of music for jazz ensemble. His compositions point to the continuity between the jazz tradition and the avant-garde. His use of group improvisation and his attention to the individual voices of each of his bandmates call forth the human element so sorely missing from much of today’s jazz. Continue reading

Guinea Pig | Out of Town | Edgetone Records

This rare recording thought to be lost was presented live from the Hotel Utah in San Francisco. The group was specifically formed for this performance presented by the late great Dark Circle Lounge Series in the mid ninties. Now the band has reformed and is armed and dangerous with their first release, Out of Town, mixing free form noise, jazz, and grunge funk beats. Continue reading

E. Doctor Smith | Seth Elgart | K2 | Edgetone Records

K2 is the culmination of a nearly thirty year musical collaboration between two friends that began with their early days in the NYC prog rock group “Everest”. Since that time, E. Doctor Smith and Seth Elgart have continued to collaborate on a variety of projects, ranging from the Source Theater production of “The Mound Builders”, to Steve Ellison’s “Flash to Bangtime” and Smith’s acid jazz group, “The Drummstick”. Influenced by the works of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Kit Watkins, Larry Fast and others, “K2” represents the fullfilment of their long time dream of paying tribute to those like-minded musical mentors and utilizing a variety of today’s 21st century MIDI technology. Continue reading

Jim Ryan | The Ghost Dog Tour Compilation | Edgetone Records

A trip to the underground of cutting-edge music the Ghost Dog Tour features eleven carefully honed works from over twelve hours of live recordings made during May and June 2007 in six U.S. cities: St. Paul, Minneapolis, Chicago, Urbana IL, Columbus OH, and New York. Jim Ryan traveled by bus, hooking up with advanced players (over two dozen), sometimes gathered under his Forward Energy banner, and sometimes as guest performer with local groups. This 73+ minute CD exemplifies the vitality of the will to musical creation that remains hidden beneath the slick commercial flim-flam that is pushed down the throat of the average music buying public. — Saftig von Heimlischbaden Continue reading

Andy Meyer | Kyle Farrell | Jenna Barvitski | The Giants of Gender | Edgetone Records

(the)giants of gender are an experimental / avant-garde trio comprised of Andy Meyer (reeds), Kyle Farrell (vibraphone/percussion), and Jenna Barvitski (violin, viola), whose debut, self-titled album on EdgeTone Records is an almost unclassifiable amalgam of sounds and styles that is ultimately a very demanding and uneasy listen. Combining haunting classical arrangements with passages that touch on jazz, prog, avant-garde, and World music styles, the trio at times comes across like a head on collision between Oregon, Ornette Coleman, and Gentle Giant. Sort of….but not really. Despite the many moments of chaos and dissonant bombast, there are passages of tranquil beauty, like the gorgeous oboe and violin duet on the enchanting “a turtle lives in the waters”, and the emotional strains of “Soft Times”. Unfortunately, there’s not enough of that though, as the trio seems more inclined to crash and bash their way through this release. Listen to the furious assault of drums, violin, and sax cacophony during “Melody For the House”, or the monstrous waves of distorted sounds on “As Non Living”, for examples of just how avant-garde these three can take their music. For the most part, quite a bit of this debut seems anything but music, but like I mentioned earlier, there are enough moments of real beauty here to think that (the) giants of gender have only just begun, and we might see something really meaningful from them yet. — Pete Pardo Continue reading

Jim Ryan’s Forward Energy | Configurations 2002 | Edgetone Records

In what appears to be taking shape as the dark ages of the early 21st century simply endorsing the music that comprises Configurations 2002 – buying it, listening to it, and above all making it — can be seen as an act of rebellion. With political and cultural hegemony increasingly becoming the new world order of the day, radical free-thinking creativity runs directly counter to the seemingly inexorable tendencies of globalization and AOLTime Warner assembly line entertainment. It takes refuge in such virtually undisclosed locations as 21 Grand, The Luggage Store Gallery, 1502 Performance Space, and Kimo’s, venues unknown to the general public while faithfully sustained by the San Francisco Bay Area’s creative music community. On one day in May, 2001, and three days in January, 2002, Jim Ryan gathered the various configurations of his aptly named Forward Energy ensemble in those subterranean haunts and recorded five hours of spontaneous music-making, which have been distilled into this potent double CD. — Derk Richardson Continue reading

Jim Ryan’s Forward Energy | Where Are They? | Edgetone Records

This highly controversial release from one of the jazz masters of the beat generation presents his powerful group Forward Energy in “Where Are They?” In one of Jim Ryan’s best musical recordings to date, you get full bodied jazz explorations from lyrical flute work to full force high energy driving free wheeling swing. Guests include the legendary former Blue Note trumpet player Eddie Gale as well as young Los Angeles lionesses tenor saxophonist Alicia Mangan. Employing his unique classic poetry and slamming saxophone work, Jim presents thought provoking music that will keep you on your toes. Continue reading

Eddie the Rat | Insomnia Sound Bible | Edgetone Records

Insomnia Sound Bible is the songbook to a sleepwalker’s guide through oblivion. Its soundscape is made of violins and cellos, trumpets and clarinets, lots of percussion and homemade instruments, and telepathic harmonizing and other voices. As with all Eddie the Rat recordings, the intention is for the CD to be listened to as a whole, however, these are songs which can also be taken in their own context. Continue reading