Reviews that mention Stomu Takeishi

September 5, 2011

Henry Threadgill Zooid

This Brings Us To Volume II
Pi Recording PI 36

Nicolas Caloia Quartet


No # No label

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver

Floating Islands

ILK 162 CD

William Parker & ICI Ensemble

Winter Sun Crying

Neos Jazz 41008

Something In The Air: Guelph Jazz Festival 2011

By Ken Waxman

--For Whole Note Vol. 17 #1

A highlight of the international calendar, the Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), September 7 to 11, has maintained its appeal to both the adventurous and the curious over 18 years. It has done so mixing educational symposia with populist outdoor concerts, featuring performers ranging from established masters to experimenters from all over the world. MORE

September 13, 2010

Henry Threadgill’s Zooid

This Brings Us To Volume I
Pi Recordings 31

Another glimpse into the Henry Threadgill world, this singular CD extends the composer/flutist/saxophonist’s sounds rather than alluding to any other current improvised music conceptions. In essence, the tunes on This Brings Us To are part of a unique Klangfarbenmelodie, where every thematic and pitch division advanced by the five musicians are essential to attain the composer’s sonic vision.

Taken mostly legato and moderato, the six compositions are of another extension of what Threadgill has been creating since this century began. Even so, such expected tropes as the preponderance of deep brass tones – supplied by tubaist/trombonist Jose Davila, who also plays in the Spanish Harlem Orchestra – and subtle finger-style guitar licks, courtesy of Liberty Ellman – whose employers have ranged from the San Francisco Mime Troupe (SFMT) to M-Base – remain constant with the reedist’s long-time conception. MORE

December 17, 2009

Hans Tammen Third Eye Orchestra

Live At Roulette
Innova 225

Expanding his electro-acoustic expertise to a creation for large ensemble, on this CD German-born, New York-based endangered guitarist Han Tammen presents two mesmerizing suites from his 13-piece Third Eye Orchestra.

Apparently unfazed by the superstition about 13, Tammen doesn’t perform, but instead conducts and arranges in real time. Likewise ignoring the superstitious angle, some of Manhattan’s most accomplished and innovative musicians – and one ringer – handle with aplomb Tammen’s creation which calls for equal facility with improvisation and notated music, acoustic instrumental techniques and familiarity with electronic excursions. Although billed as two, six-part versions of the same piece – “Antecedent” and “Consequence” – it’s a tribute to all concerned that neither version mirrors the other. While the separately titled tracks exhibit certain homogeneity, soloists never eschew individuality even while blending with the others in section work or contrasting passages. MORE

October 25, 2006

Ned Rothenberg

The Fell Clutch
Animul 105

Playful and profound at the same time, this CD by multi-reedman Ned Rothenberg’s well-paced trio confirms that the separation between cerebral improvisation and body conscious grooves is narrower than most would imagine – as long as there’s a singularity of purpose.

Usually dedicated to highly technical woodwind explorations and collaborations with the likes of saxophonist Evan Parker, or World music inferences with like-minded players such as tabla player Samir Chatterjee, Rothenberg, the New York-based clarinetist and saxophonist adopts harder beats here. Featuring drummer Tony Buck, of the Australian trance-jazz band The Necks and fretless electric bass player Stomu Takeishi, who is in trumpeter Cuong Vu’s punky jazz trio, plus slide guitarist Dave Tronzo on three tracks, there’s a rock-like sensibility present. MORE

October 2, 2006


Cryptogramophone CG 127

Chamber Quintet
Fenommedia FM 05 003

By Ken Waxman

Until about 15 years ago the chance of finding a cellist in an improvised music situation was as likely as discovering a banjo in a philharmonic situation. Occasionally bassists would double on the smaller instrument, but that was about it.

Radical changes occurred in the 1990s though and improv cello players are now as common as trombonists. Today, New York’s Erik Friedlander is the pre-eminent American improv cellist, with a C.V. that stretches from work in the Masada String Trio to gigs with Laurie Anderson and with pianist Sylvie Courvoisier. Friedlander’s long suit is his adaptability, and these CDs show off two facets of his skills. CHAMBER QUINTET is just that, a mixing of the cellist’s formalistic timbres, with Belgian Emmanuelle Somer’s oboe and English horn, American Michael Rabinowitz’s bassoon plus bass an drums, the later two instruments played by the highly-talented Oleœ brothers of Poland, who also wrote all 11 compositions in this recital. MORE

March 13, 2006


12 Songs
Cryptogramophone CG125

It’s Mostly Residual
Artists Share No #

Guitarist Bill Frisell is a featured player on both these CDs, which also include among the personnel a bassist, a drummer and a cornetist or trumpeter. Each is lead by a youngish instrumentalist, brought up on the West Coast and whose talent has subsequently led to high-profile gigs in New York, where both now live. Two more dissimilar sessions you couldn’t imagine.

It isn’t just the personnel, although IT’S MOSTLY RESIDUAL is a quartet date and the group on some of 12 SONGS’ tracks swells to septet size. Rather it’s that the former disc is on this side of frantic, completing trumpet Cuong Vu’s trilogy of almost punk-rock fuelled releases – albeit this time in quartet, rather than trio formation. When the pace slows down the unforced, polyphonic tones resemble some of the hipper lines written by guitarist Pat Metheny, in whose group, the Seattle-raised Vu has been featured the past few years. MORE

August 30, 2004


Where the Two Worlds Touch
Arabesque AJ0159

Twelve improvisations
Leo CD LR 394

Building on jazz’s standard two-horns-and-rhythm combo format, these CDs impress by showing how the players manage to make things new by tweaking sounds to match their own aspirations.

A team for over 20 years, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and bassist Joe Fonda do this by not only insisting that all the sounds on their CD be completely improvised, but by adding another voice to the line-up. French alto and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro is one of that country’s foremost experimenters, working in contexts as varied as solo recitals and bands with saxophonist Michel Doneda and Joe McPhee. Here his unique articulation and sound sources add another dimension to that supplied by the pianist, bassist, long-time drummer Harvey Sorgen, and endlessly inventive trumpeter Herb Robertson, who has worked with Fonda and Stevens in various bands, on-and-off for more than a decade. MORE

August 4, 2003


Cryptogramophone CG 118

Il Peso Delle Nuvole
Splasc (h) CDH 852.2

Building an improv band around a cello is no longer the novelty it would have been 10 years ago.

To give some examples: American expatriate Tristan Honsinger is all over European CDs whether they’re by big bands or small combos; Fred Lonberg-Holm seems to turn up on every second session recorded in Chicago; and Vancouver-based Peggy Lee has been a member of different-sized bands throughout North America and Europe. MORE

January 24, 2002


Everybodys Mouth’s A Book
PI Recordings PI01

Up Popped The Two Lips
PI Recordings PI02

Five years after his unsatisfactory major label dalliance ended, composer/saxophonist Henry Threadgill is back with not one, but two new CDs on a brand-new label. Showcasing one quintet and an almost wholly different sextet performing new Threadgill’s pieces, the sessions are exhilarating and comfortable at the same time. That’s because the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)’s most iconoclastic writer is still finding new ways to express himself while staying faithful to the jaunty compositional system he developed as long ago as the early 1990s. MORE

December 24, 2001


Come Play With Me
Knitting Factory KFW 298

No one is likely to confuse trumpeter Cuong Vu with a neo-con young lion.

Although he’s young enough (28), educated enough (the New England Conservatory) and experienced enough (including a touring gig with the Pat Metheny Group), he doesn’t seem interested in the rote bebop recreations that characterize other young trumpeters. Working with the likes of Laurie Anderson and David Bowie as well as more jazz-oriented types, he’s evolved a distinctive, electronics-influenced style that with this band almost takes on the trappings of a rock power trio. MORE