Kidd Jordan | Peter Kowald | Alvin Fielder | Live in New Orleans | No Business Records

There are few left playing to whom the term “master” can be applied without reservation. Kidd Jordan and Alvin Fielder are two such musicians. Peter Kowald, who was taken from us far too soon, was another. Fielder and Jordan have been communing through deep listening and resultant improvisation since the 1970s, when the Improvisational Arts aggregate was conceived, and these three sessions afford the chance to compare their interactions at pivotal moments of a ten-year period. Though this trio performance with the internationally recognized German bassist is the only documentation of that group, he is clearly a kindred spirit, geographic concerns thrown to the winds as three veterans compose in, for and beyond each moment. The live trio set, ushered in by Kowald’s resonant pizzicato and an invocation from Fielder’s high hat, bristles with sublimated and titanic energy, roaring and surging with oceanic force only to be pulled back, the ebbs showing no diminution of spirit but thriving on subtlety. Listen, during his solo, to the supple but nearly silent descending polyrhythmic spirals and timbral thrusts Kowald floats over Fielder’s delicate brush work. Jordan’s reentrance, after Kowald builds his solo to an inter-register frenzy, is one of the concert’s highlights, saxophone and bass darting and weaving, overlapping, diving headlong into a spicy blend of neo -Schoenbergian pan tonality and “new thing” cries of freedom that will set the coldest heart ablaze, Fielder’s percussion adding layers of transcultural resonance. — Marc Medwin Continue reading

Jeff Albert’s Instigation Quartet | The Tree On The Mound | RogueArt Jazz

The art of throwing spinning-tops It’s on. It’s overflowing with energy.The music tosses the spinning-top of reality, since playing is spinning around what is, where hides what is not, what once was, and what one day will be. To play is to drill. And to improvise is to recover and develop “the faculty and the ability to ceaselessly birth sensations.” (Novalis) To improvise is to make the world flow, or to let oneself go as it flows. Sounds visit us and their levels rise within us like the waters of a flooding river – closeness of the Nile and the Mississippi. (Edward “Kidd” Jordan is the instigator of River Niger, a composition sometimes played by this quartet, which is at Jeff Albert’s instigation). When he is playing, Jeff Albert, proud heir of the tailgaters, has all the dykes and seawalls at his disposition. When he is playing, “Kidd” Jordan accumulates cataracts and deltas. There are at least two types of accumulation: the methodical accumulation of the merchant economy, the one which compiles and compacts, which amasses objects, signs, bits and pieces, which amasses time-frames also, in order to confirm them in their conformity and isolation. There is the poetic accumulation: it is spasmodic, disparate, thought-provoking -while it gathers, it squanders; while is uses, it rejuvenates. Lucid silt. — Alexandre Pierrepont (Translation: Romain Tesler) Continue reading

Peter Kowald | Off The Road | a movie directed by Laurence Petit-Jouvet | RogueArt Jazz

The German bassist Peter Kowald (1944-2002) was one of the major figures of Free Improvised Music. The film OFF THE ROAD was made on and around his extended tour of the USA in 2000. A journey around America in an old Chevrolet Caprice, the film is a “free improvised road movie” featuring encounters with many of the great names of Free Music, set against the background of “Off The Road” America. Continue reading