Stefan Keune | Sundays Sundaes

German saxophonist Stefan Keune first got noticed on the free improvisation scene in the 1990s with his trio and his duo with John Russell. His choice of the sopranino saxophone as main instrument gives him an uncommon sound, which he pairs with a textural approach reminiscent of John Butcher. He has performed with many improvisers from the German and British scenes, namely Matthias Bauer, Hans Schneider, Paul Lovens, and Paul Lytton. Continue reading

Henry Kuntz | Whirling Sun Visions!

Subtitled “Multi-Track Works-In-Process Miniatures”, this is a collection of pieces for overlaid saxophones, vocals and exotic percussives, although the latter are not present in all the tracks. Kuntz appears very interested in the generation of ritualistic moods through the concurrence of different pulses, the presence of the Javanese gamelan adding evident metallic/melodic tints in episodes like the opening “Celestial Forest”. But if we pretend to be transported in a parallel dimension, this recipe leads to the magnification of an innocent-sounding density, a child playing with a series of reed instruments in a room full of clocks. The segments where only amassed saxes are featured are more comparable to the gathering of seagulls fighting for food on a beach, kind of a semi-chaotic superimposition of pattern-within-pattern designs which translates into a peculiar type of entrancement, a bunch of Poppy Nogoods who have had a few too many. Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes Continue reading

Anthony Braxton Quartet | Standards (Brussels) 2006 | Amirani Records

Anthony Braxton’s periodical incursions in standards repertory are always a new way to think classical structures. His style is immediately clear: pixeling notes, sudden fastness, stretched sentences. A live recording with all the freshness one needs to be in deep touch with creativity and joyous interplay. Italian partners provide a vivid sustain, an evocative tone palette, a great rhythmic support and sincere brilliant solos.

An elegant cardboard 6 CD box (Decca style) including a 26 pages booklet with three little essays by Italian poet and writer Erika Dagnino Continue reading

Greg Lyons

Greg Lyons is a British saxophonist, composer and arranger. Currently based out of Singapore, he is becoming known to an ever-increasing network of listeners for a commitment to making original music of an eclectic nature combining elements of his whole musical evolution – which includes representations of jazz, classical, funk, rock, pop, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, avant-garde, folk and lots more.

Continue reading

Joe Giardullo | Weather | Not Two Records

Solo soprano saxophone albums in so-called free improv are surprisingly frequent these days (think Alessandro Bosetti, John Butcher, Stéphane Rives, Michel Doneda…) but in jazz they’re still relatively rare, probably because the musicians concerned don’t exactly relish being compared to Steve Lacy, whose work still remains something a benchmark in the genre, albeit an idiosyncratic one. In fact the distinction I’m trying to draw is a rather silly, maybe even nonexistent one, insofar as three of the four pieces on offer on Weather are marked as Joe Giardullo “compositions” (though they sound pretty open and improvised to me). The fourth track though is most definitely a composition, and a well-known one too: Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” (rather sloppy titling, that: in fact it’s “Acknowledgment”). Giardullo, taking advantage of an intimate acoustic and attentive audience in Cracow’s Klub Re (home base for Not Two’s Marek Winiarski), seeks to lift Coltrane’s work gingerly down from the ridiculously high pedestal on which it’s been placed over recent years and return it to the domain of the personal, the introspective. Dan Warburton Continue reading


Multi-track recordings have been an essential means of expression for me since 1989. Within pieces that are unique in sound, multi-cultural context, and instrumental combination, I’ve been able to showcase and synthesize those musical elements that are most important to me: independence of line, textural complexity, and equality of instrumentation and mix, The process of multi-track creation has been an ongoing musical exploration and experiment, the results of which have consistently surprised and delighted me. I hope you enjoy listening.” — Henry Kuntz (March 2010) Continue reading

Carol Liebowitz | Bob Field | Waves Of Blue Intensities | NA1021

Liebowitz and Field mix freely improvised tracks with very loose versions of standards like “Melancholy Baby” and “Out of Nowhere.” Field’s free playing (especially on the standards) is very coherent and eminently lyrical, using the tune’s melodic contours as a guide, while straying somewhat afield of the traditional harmonies. Liebowitz as much as ignores the changes completely. I imagine that she’s playing off the melody as interpreted by Field, probably keeping the harmonic rhythm in mind to a degree, but relying mostly on her musical instincts, which are usually fine. The totally improvised cuts (especially the title track) are an unqualified success, though I wish they’d stretched them out a little more. The tunes are rathertoo familiar in their original form to stand up to this kind of treatment; the weight of historical expectation lies heavy on every note, which can be a distraction. I suppose had one never heard “All of Me,” however, he orshe could easily accept Liebowitz and Field’s rendering as definitive. Quite an unusual album, and one worth hearing. — Chris Kelsy, Jazz Now (on line jazz magazine, New Sounds page, Oct. 1995) Continue reading

Henry Kuntz | Humming Bird Tapes

The music on HUMMING BIRD Records & Tapes is spontaneously composed, freely improvised. It is presented to the listener in its purest possible form, edited only for purposes of presentation on recorded media. Multi-tracking has at times been utilized – as a separate but related improvising endeavor – to create unusual and unlikely instrumental ensembles and to suggest open-ended ways of approaching form and content during real-time group improvisation. — Henry Kuntz Continue reading