Reviews that mention Tim Daisy

April 6, 2017

Label Spotlight

Aerophonic Records
By Ken Waxman

Saxophonist Dave Rempis doesn’t disagree when it’s suggested his Chicago-based Aerophonic imprint can be characterized as a “vanity project”. But there’s an important difference. “Sure, it definitely is,” agree the alto, tenor and baritone saxophonist, who is the label’s sole owner. “I’ve put out 17 releases since mid-2013, all of which I feel proud. But we’re at a point where no one else is going to do that, particularly with that type of quantity. So if I want to get my work out, it’s on me to do it. If that makes it a vanity label, then so be it.” The main difference is that Aerophonic “is self-sustaining. If it was really a vanity label I’d probably be pouring more and more money into it.” MORE

October 26, 2016

Trio Red Space

Fields of Flat
Relay Recordings 013

Themroc 3

Rocthem!

WhyPlayJazz RS 029

Reducing music to the rudiments of percussion and horns are these two differently constituted trios which like visual artists who only deal with the shape of lines, demonstrate that focused purity can be all that’s needed for notable creativity. Lacking any chordal instrument, each of the trios still overcomes the monochromatic aspects of such performances with unique strategies. Trio Red Space immerses itself in the breakneck tempos and extended techniques of Free Jazz. Meanwhile Themroc 3 traffics in brisk, jubilant fanfares that wouldn’t be out of place in a big top performance. MORE

May 17, 2016

Made to Break

Before the Code
Trost TR 141

KNU!

My Horse Doesn’t Give a Shit

Unit Records UTR 46089

Granularties

Scenes From A Trialogue

Amirani Records AMRN 045

Jean-Marc Foussat & Jean-Luc Petit

…Doù Vient La Lumière!

Fou Records FR-CD 13

Uliben Duo

Shared Memory

Creative Sources CS 327 CD

Something In The Air: Matching Electronic and Acoustic Improvisation

By Ken Waxman
MORE

January 6, 2016

Vox Arcana

Caro’s Song
Relay Recordings 010

Steel Bridge Trio

Different Clocks

Relay Recordings 011

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1: 7 Compositions for Duet

Relay Recordings 009

By Ken Waxman

Quietly – well as quiet as a drummer can be – and consistently, Chicago-based percussionist Tim Daisy has over the past decade established himself as one of jazz’s go-to players. Besides ongoing partnerships with the likes of reedists Dave Rempis mostly in a duo and Ken Vandermark in small and large ensembles, Daisy’s discs showcase his own bands playing his compositions which range from the raucous to the refined. Like a screenwriter equally proficient at penning action thrillers and character-driven dramas, the drummer proficiently showcases particular genres on each of these releases. MORE

January 6, 2016

Steel Bridge Trio

Different Clocks
Relay Recordings 011

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1: 7 Compositions for Duet

Relay Recordings 009

Vox Arcana

Caro’s Song

Relay Recordings 010

By Ken Waxman

Quietly – well as quiet as a drummer can be – and consistently, Chicago-based percussionist Tim Daisy has over the past decade established himself as one of jazz’s go-to players. Besides ongoing partnerships with the likes of reedists Dave Rempis mostly in a duo and Ken Vandermark in small and large ensembles, Daisy’s discs showcase his own bands playing his compositions which range from the raucous to the refined. Like a screenwriter equally proficient at penning action thrillers and character-driven dramas, the drummer proficiently showcases particular genres on each of these releases. MORE

January 6, 2016

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1: 7 Compositions for Duet
Relay Recordings 009

Vox Arcana

Caro’s Song

Relay Recordings 010

Steel Bridge Trio

Different Clocks

Relay Recordings 011

By Ken Waxman

Quietly – well as quiet as a drummer can be – and consistently, Chicago-based percussionist Tim Daisy has over the past decade established himself as one of jazz’s go-to players. Besides ongoing partnerships with the likes of reedists Dave Rempis mostly in a duo and Ken Vandermark in small and large ensembles, Daisy’s discs showcase his own bands playing his compositions which range from the raucous to the refined. Like a screenwriter equally proficient at penning action thrillers and character-driven dramas, the drummer proficiently showcases particular genres on each of these releases. MORE

August 16, 2015

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1
Relay Recordings 009

Aural scrap book, calling card and historical document wrapped together, this CD highlights the improvisational and compositional strategies drummer Tim Daisy has evolved during his years as part of Chicago’s burgeoning improvisational scene. Each of the lucky seven duets here is with a different associate – reedists Rempis (baritone saxophone), James Falzone (clarinet) and Katherine Young (bassoon); cornetist Josh Berman, violist Jen Clare Paulson plus Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone and drummer Marc Riordan playing piano – and follows a unique pattern. MORE

May 24, 2015

Trzaska/Swell/Holmlander/Daisy

Return from the Center of the Earth
Bocian Records BR-M1

Mikolaj Trzaska/Devin Hoff/Michael Zerang

Sleepless in Chicago

NoBusiness Records NBLP 70

Bolstering the reputation for international openness enjoyed by his Gdańsk hometown plus his own career, Polish reedist Mikolaj Trzaska expresses himself imaginatively on these discs recorded during Chicago holidays in 2011 and 2012. Trzaska, whose main horns are alto saxophone and bass clarinet developed his Windy City affiliations with stints in saxophonist Ken Vandermark’s Resonance Ensemble and in small groups with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee or drummer Tim Daisy among others. Here he exhibits his skills in a classic Free Jazz trio with bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Michael Zerang, two of the city’s busiest players, plus an unusually constituted quartet with Daisy, New York trombonist Steve Swell and Swedish tubaist Per Åke Holmlander. MORE

December 21, 2014

Tim Daisy Trio

A Fine Day in Berlin
Relay Recordings 006

John Hébert Trio

Floodstage

Clean Feed CF 290 CD

Compositional focus or pure improv, emblematic Jazz piano trios with bass and drums can be envisioned in accordance with the tendencies of the participants. These sessions, recorded about one month apart in different European countries, instructively outline these differences. Interestingly enough as well, although the piano is the main melody instrument on both, neither session is lead by a pianist. The second outing for a group consisting of French pianist Benoît Delbecq plus New Yorkers, drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist John Hébert, Floodstage mostly highlight the compositions of the New Orleans-born bassist. A true international configuration, A Fine Day in Berlin’s four extended track resulted from a day of collaboration between American drummer Tim Daisy, Norwegian pianist Håvard Wiik and Australian bassist Clayton Thomas. MORE

December 21, 2014

NPR 9th Annual Jazz Critics Poll: 2014

Ken Waxman’s ballot

NEW RELEASES

1. Yoni Kretzmer-Pascal Niggenkemper-Weasel Walter, Protest Music (OutNow)

2. Paul Giallorenzo, Force Majeure (Delmark)

3. Kyle Bruckmann, . . . Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire (SingleSpeed Music)

4. Sakata/Lonberg-Holm/Gutvik/Nilssen-Love, The Cliff of Time (PNL)

5. Alexander Hawkins, Step Wide, Step Deep (Babel)

6. François Carrier-Michel Lambert-Alexey Lapin, The Russia Concerts Volume 1/The Russia Concerts Volume 2 (FMR)

7. Rodrigo Amado & Jeb Bishop, The Flame Alphabet (NotTwo) MORE

November 16, 2014

Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack

Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire
Singlespeed Music SSM-014

Franz Koglmann

JOIN!

ORF-CD 3177

Michael Lösch

Heroes

Sweet Alps No #

Nicole Mitchell

Intergalactic Beings

FPE Records FPE 02

Something In the Air: Mixing Advanced Jazz with Program Music

By Ken Waxman

Creating an entire program of integrated story and sound has long been a hallmark of western music. Just because the 20th and 21st century has given composers not only more instruments and modes to work with but also the possibility of adding aleatoric passages hasn`t lessened such projects’ appeal. Unlike the sometimes ill-conceived so-called jazz musicals of the past, today’s improvisers have the skills needed to link a coherent story line with creative sounds. MORE

November 11, 2014

Festival Report

Sibiu Jazz and More
By Ken Waxman

Situated in the dead center of Romania, Sibiu is a fortified medieval city of winding streets, whose hub is the connected Grand (Piața Mare) and Lesser (Piața Mica) squares, where every building appears to be of historical importance. Populated by citizens of German, Transylvanian and Romanian background, it seems appropriate that the Jazz and More (JAM) Festival highlighted high-quality international improvisers annually.

Chicago drummer Tim Daisy was one player whose performance and demeanor reflected Sibiu’s cooperative history during JAM’s 10th edition October 3 to 5. Not only did he turn in a spectacular display of free jazz interaction with long-time partner tenor and alto saxophonist Dave Rempis at JAM’s main venue, the soft-seated Teatrul Gong, but later that same night played a sympathetic duet set with Bucharest-based pianist Mircea Tiberian at the basement Bohemian Flow club in Piața Mica, then participated in a jam session that went on to 5 a.m. With Rempis, an animated Daisy bounced up, down as he clanked and clicked every variety of cymbals, blocks, bells, chains and other paraphernalia. In contrast the reedist stood stock still, reeling out stuttering, slurring or slashing phrases in many registers and intensities which angled perfectly into the drummer’s narratives Adding rhythmic blues riffs and Africanized inflections to tonal deconstruction, the duo ensured that each improvisation flowed logically from thematic roots and swung hard in its own fashion. Feeling his way with Tiberian, who craftily extracted multi-hued rhythm plus Monk-like single-note emphasis from an electric piano, Daisy was initially deferential. Quickly through drum-top dusting gave way to resonating buzzes and echoing strokes. By the time Tiberian was mixing staccato smears with dramatic theme extensions, the drummer uncorked enough rocking clatter to echo off the club’s stained brick walls. MORE

February 11, 2014

Artist Feature

Dave Rempis
By Ken Waxman

For proof that a committed improviser can build an impressive career outside of NYC, look no further than Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis. The Massachusetts native, who relocated to the Windy City in ’93, is kept busy touring with his own bands as well as in a variety of other groups. This month he’ll play two rare gigs in the Apple, as part of a completely new configuration with trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Chris Corsano.

Rempis would often bump into Wooley at European festivals and Chicago gigs, so eventually they decided to combine forces. The trumpeter suggested the other players and the four will record following the dates. The resulting CD may be a joint release on Wooley’s imprint plus Rempis’ six-month-old Aerophonic label. MORE

January 18, 2014

Williams/Håker-Flaten/Daisy

Moments Form
Idyllic Noise IDNO 0010

Henrik Walsdorff/Adam Pultz Melbye/Kasper Tom

Grøn

Barefoot Records BFREC O22 CD

With a legacy and a style now as established as Hard Bop or Classic Jazz, so called Free Jazz has become a legacy unto itself. Thus when assessing sessions like these, the proper course is not to compare how they sound viz-a-viz other forms of improvised music, but how well the sounds are presented. The answer in both cases is very well indeed.

Although both were recorded in Europe, the cast and orientation of these live trio CDs is decidedly different. For all intents and purpose an unedited pick-up session, Grøn was recorded in Odense, Denmark’s Dexter jazz club, and features Henrik Walsdorff, a visiting alto saxophonist from Berlin, playing with two experienced Danish musicians: bassist Adam Pultz Melbye and drummer Kasper Tom. Both Danes are members of the Barefoot collective, with Melbye having worked with the likes of tenor saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and Tom with distinctive improvisers like bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall. Someone who prefer not to be a band leader, Walsdorff has been a member of bands led by Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Ulrich Gumpert MORE

January 3, 2014

The Rempis Percussion Quartet

Phalanx
Aerophonic AR-001

Perelman/Shipp/Dickey/Cleaver

Enigma

Leo Records CD LR 683

Although the concept of having two drummers as part of an improvising ensemble isn’t a new one, it must be done judiciously so the percussion doesn’t overwhelm the other players. The situation is especially problematic when dealing with as few as four musicians, but both sessions here are organized so that this atypical make-up doesn’t impede creativity.

At the same time each session differ from the other due to the choice of individual chordal instrument. Phalanx, recorded in Antwerp and Milwaukee is held together during four extensive blow-outs by the powerful bass work of Norwegian-turned Texan Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. Together in different configurations since 2004, the percussion part of The Rempis Percussion Quartet is made up of Frank Rosaly and Tim Daisy, both of whom are in-demand on the expanding Chicago improv scene. Dave Rempis, who plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophone on the disc, is best known for his work in the Vandermark5. MORE

June 18, 2013

The Resonance Ensemble

What Country is This?
NotTwo MW 885-2

Fire! Orchestra

Exit!

Rune Grammofon RDCD 2138

Lean Left

Live at Café Oto

Unsounds 32U

Double Tandem

Cement

PNL Records PNL 013

Something in The Air: Modern Rhythms and New Jazz

By Ken Waxman

As the rhythmic base of jazz has changed over the past half century, adding emphases besides pure swing to improvisation, the role of the percussionist has changed as well. No longer just a time keeper the modern drummer must be conversant with varied beats from many genres of music. This familiarity with other cultures is also why many non-Americans have become prominent. Case in point is Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, who plays with the Euro-American band Lean Left band at the Tranzac on June 15. Nilssen-Love, whose associates range from the most committed electronics dial-twister to free-form veterans is equally proficient laying down a hard rock-like beat as he is trading accents with experimental timbre-shatters. The two extended tracks on Live at Café Oto Unsounds 32U demonstrate not only Nilssen-Love’s cohesive skills amplifying the improvisations of Chicago-based tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark as he does in many other contexts, but shows how both react to the power chords and violent string distortions which characterize the style of guitarists Andy Moor and Terrie Ex from Dutch punk band The Ex, who complete this quartet. In spite of Vandermark’s consistent overblowing which encompasses pumping altissimo honks and frenetic slurs; plus the guitarists’ constant crunches, smashes and frails, the drumming never degenerate into monotonous rock music-like banging. Instead, while the backbeat isn’t neglected, auxiliary clips, ruffs, ratamacues and smacks are used by Nilssen-Love to break up the rhythm, with carefully measured pulsations. This strategy is most obvious during the climatic sections of the more-than-37 minute Drevel. With all four Lean Lefters improvising in broken octaves, the narratives shakes to and fro between Vandermark’s collection of emphasized freak notes and dyspeptic stridency and the dual guitarists’ slurred fingering that leads to staccato twangs and jangling strums. Not only is the climax attained with a crescendo of volume and excitement, but the final theme variations are in contrast as stark and minimalist as the earlier ones are noisy. As guitars methodically clank as if reading a post-modern composition, and the clarinet lines emphasize atonal reed bites, intermittent stick strokes and toe-pedal pressure from the drummer concentrates the sound shards into the track’s calm finale. MORE

September 21, 2012

Kyle Bruckmann

On Procedural Grounds
New World Records 80725-2

Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack

Cracked Refraction

Porter Records PRCD 4061

As improvised music’s pre-eminent – well let’s face it probably only – oboe and English horn specialist, Oakland, Calif.-based Kyle Bruckmann has been flexing his organizational muscles as a band leader and composer during the past few years. These recent CDs showcase these talents admirably along, of course, with his distinctive soloing.

Gigging with New music ensembles, the Stockton Symphony and many area regional orchestras plus a smattering of Rock and electronic music bands is how Bruckmann makes his living, but it’s with his own Wrack quintet that he expresses his own ideas. Mostly consisting of Chicago musicians with whom Bruckmann played before relocating to the Bay area in 2003, the band is filled out by one player, violist Jen Clare Paulson, who is mostly involved in notated music ensembles, plus three others – bass clarinetist Jason Stein, bassist Anton Hatwich and percussionist Tim Daisy – who usually work the Improv/Jazz side of the equation, with associates such as saxophonists Ken Vandermark and Dave Rempis. MORE

September 21, 2012

Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack

Cracked Refraction
Porter Records PRCD 4061

Kyle Bruckmann

On Procedural Grounds

New World Records 80725-2

As improvised music’s pre-eminent – well let’s face it probably only – oboe and English horn specialist, Oakland, Calif.-based Kyle Bruckmann has been flexing his organizational muscles as a band leader and composer during the past few years. These recent CDs showcase these talents admirably along, of course, with his distinctive soloing.

Gigging with New music ensembles, the Stockton Symphony and many area regional orchestras plus a smattering of Rock and electronic music bands is how Bruckmann makes his living, but it’s with his own Wrack quintet that he expresses his own ideas. Mostly consisting of Chicago musicians with whom Bruckmann played before relocating to the Bay area in 2003, the band is filled out by one player, violist Jen Clare Paulson, who is mostly involved in notated music ensembles, plus three others – bass clarinetist Jason Stein, bassist Anton Hatwich and percussionist Tim Daisy – who usually work the Improv/Jazz side of the equation, with associates such as saxophonists Ken Vandermark and Dave Rempis. MORE

July 6, 2012

Festival Report:

Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon
By Ken Waxman

London saxophonist John Butcher and Chicago percussionist Tim Daisy were the MVPs during the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon at the end of April. To stretch the metaphor further, Butcher was doubly valuable, since as a pinch hitter he replaced Una Casa/Observatorio’s third member when that saxophonist was unable to perform with Buenos Aires-based trumpeter Leonel Kaplan and Viennese computer manipulator Christof Kurzmann. If Butcher’s playing was sympathetically creative with that trio, his improvising was equally spectacular with The Apophonics, a new group, otherwise consisting of British bassist John Edwards and Bay-area percussionist Gino Robair. Meanwhile the cap-sporting Daisy subtly pacing Wrack, the chamber-styled string-and-horn quintet; as well as added rhythmic heft to saxophonist Dave Rempis’ Percussion 4Tet, whose raucous free jazz closed the festival to enthusiastic audience cheers. MORE

April 6, 2012

Daniel Levin & Tim Daisy

The Flower And The Bear
Relay Records 003

Challenging themselves with one of the most unusual duo structures, Brooklyn cellist Daniel Levin and Chicago drummer Tim Daisy improvise here with no additional musicians, electronic processing or studio overdubbing. The results while by definition sparse successfully expose a program of unparalleled rhythmic smarts and descriptive textures. Saving grace is that a skilful cellist like Levin can use his instrument both for soloing and back-up – often within seconds of one another – while the magnitude of Daisy’s percussion collection includes different sorts of noise makers and rhythmic amenders. MORE

November 1, 2010

Tim Daisy Vox Arcana

Aerial Age
Allos Documents 004

Jean-Marc Foltz

To The Moon

Ayler Records AYLCD-112

Daniel Levin Quartet

Bacalhau

Clean Freed CF 195 CD

Kathryn Ladano

Open

No Label

Extended Play: Chamber Improvisations

By Ken Waxman

Derided in the past as effete or derivative, chamber-style improvising has fascinated musicians at least since the 1920s, both on the jazz (Benny Goodman, Red Norvo) and classical (George Gershwin, Ferde Grofé) sides. However, as this group of CDs demonstrates, with contemporary musicians conversant with both strains of sound, the transitional awkwardness of the past has been replaced by inspired flexibility MORE

June 1, 2010

The Frame Quartet

35 MM
Okka Disk OD 12078

Rempis/Rosaly

Cyrillic

482 Music 482-1064

Matthew Shipp

Nu Bop Live

Rai Trade RTPJ 0015

Connie Crothers-Michel Bisio

Sessions at 475 Kent

Mutable 17537-2

Extended Play: Combos: Ad Hoc and Long Constituted in Toronto

By Ken Waxman

Long-established jazz groups have become as common as pop hits based on Mozart melodies topping the charts – they sometimes exist. But with accomplished improvisers tempted by side projects, bands often reconstitute and sidemen regularly have their own gigs. In most cases, though, this doesn’t affect the music’s quality. MORE

December 17, 2009

Fred Anderson

Staying in the Game
Engine e029

Fred Anderson Quartet

Live at the Velvet Lounge Volume III

Asian Improv AIR 0074

Fred Anderson Trio

Birthday Live 2000

Asian Improv AIR “Official Bootleg”

Fred Anderson

21st Century Chase

Delmark DE 589

Consistency of expression is what has characterized the playing of Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson over the years. Furthermore, unlike many other musicians, there hasn’t been a subsequent lessening of his powers as he ages. As a matter of fact, now that he’s reached the venerable age of 80, his improvisational skills are at an exalted peak. Listen to these CDs for proof. They were recorded not only at Anderson’s 80th Birthday Bash, but when he was a comparative youngster of 79, 78 and even 71. MORE

December 17, 2009

Fred Anderson Trio

Birthday Live 2000
Asian Improv AIR “Official Bootleg”

Fred Anderson Quartet

Live at the Velvet Lounge Volume III

Asian Improv AIR 0074

Fred Anderson

Staying in the Game

Engine e029

Fred Anderson

21st Century Chase

Delmark DE 589

Consistency of expression is what has characterized the playing of Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson over the years. Furthermore, unlike many other musicians, there hasn’t been a subsequent lessening of his powers as he ages. As a matter of fact, now that he’s reached the venerable age of 80, his improvisational skills are at an exalted peak. Listen to these CDs for proof. They were recorded not only at Anderson’s 80th Birthday Bash, but when he was a comparative youngster of 79, 78 and even 71. MORE

December 17, 2009

Fred Anderson

21st Century Chase
Delmark DE 589

Fred Anderson Quartet

Live at the Velvet Lounge Volume III

Asian Improv AIR 0074

Fred Anderson

Staying in the Game

Engine e029

Fred Anderson Trio

Birthday Live 2000

Asian Improv AIR “Official Bootleg”

Consistency of expression is what has characterized the playing of Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson over the years. Furthermore, unlike many other musicians, there hasn’t been a subsequent lessening of his powers as he ages. As a matter of fact, now that he’s reached the venerable age of 80, his improvisational skills are at an exalted peak. Listen to these CDs for proof. They were recorded not only at Anderson’s 80th Birthday Bash, but when he was a comparative youngster of 79, 78 and even 71. MORE

December 17, 2009

Fred Anderson Quartet

Live at the Velvet Lounge Volume III
Asian Improv AIR 0074

Fred Anderson

Staying in the Game

Engine e029

Fred Anderson Trio

Birthday Live 2000

Asian Improv AIR “Official Bootleg”

Fred Anderson

21st Century Chase

Delmark DE 589

Consistency of expression is what has characterized the playing of Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson over the years. Furthermore, unlike many other musicians, there hasn’t been a subsequent lessening of his powers as he ages. As a matter of fact, now that he’s reached the venerable age of 80, his improvisational skills are at an exalted peak. Listen to these CDs for proof. They were recorded not only at Anderson’s 80th Birthday Bash, but when he was a comparative youngster of 79, 78 and even 71. MORE

December 6, 2006

Bridge 61

Journal
Atavistic ALP172CD

Raucous and other-focused Journal is yet another entry in Chicago saxophonist Ken Vandermark’s ever lengthening discography. Largely concentrated on low pitches, the instrumentation on this notable 72-minute, eight-track CD is completed by Jason Stein’s voluminous bass clarinet timbres, Nate McBride’s resonating acoustic and electric bass fills and Tim Daisy’s chunky percussion strokes.

Playing tenor and baritone saxophones, Vandermark’s most common strategy consists of arduous snorts and vamps– one part glottal R&B honks, the other altissimo Free Jazz shrills. The other players respond, expand or moderate the attack. Thick strums and funky thumb pops from the bassist define the groove on more rhythmic numbers, while acoustically McBride outputs woody bass slaps. Spectacular in his drum displays, Daisy references vigorous backbeat ruffs and rolls along with subtle shuffles, rim shots and kettle drum approximations – doubling or halving the tempo at will. When not gurgling basement split tone runs, Stein often uses pitch-sliding trills for melodic double counterpoint with Vandermark’s saxophones or clarinet. MORE

June 7, 2004

STICKS & STONES

Shed Grace
Thrill Jockey thrill 140

DRAGONS 1976
On Cortez
Locust Music 40

Real Jazz has always been a music of apprenticeship. Unlike so-called classical or pop music where younger players can make a reputation and a living by reinterpreting and/or copying the work of their elders, jazz revolves around what you as a player can bring to the band stand.

That’s why SHED GRACE is a major step forward for the Sticks & Stones trio, while ON CORTEZ is very much an apprentice effort. Saxophonist Aram Shelton, bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Tim Daisy, who gave their band its unique name because all were born in 1976, are gathering the experience in Chicago to put them in the sophomore class of players. Reedist Matana Roberts, drummer Chad Taylor -- both of whom spend much of their time in New York -- and bassist Josh Abrams, on the other hand, are already in the senior class. Individually, and collectively as a trio, they’ve developed distinct identities and appear ready to trade the promising for the established designation. MORE

March 1, 2004

KYLE BRUCKMANN

Wrack
Red Toucan # RT 9323

PAGO LIBRE
Phoenix
Leo Records LR 377

Classically trained players as familiar with improvised as notated music are no longer a novelty in the 21st Century, mostly in Europe and latterly in North America.

However what’s most notable about this, as these two CDs show, is not whether musicians know the idioms but to what end they put that understanding.

WRACK is striking, as woodwind player Kyle Bruckmann steers a quintet of Chicago-based stylists to a color field that takes from both jazz and so-called European Art Music. PHOENIX isn’t as remarkable because the dramatic sound clashes Bruckmann has programmed into his music are replaced by gentler concordance from the cooperative band of one Russian, one Italian, one Austrian and an Irish-born Swiss resident. The four attempt to mesh not only so-called jazz and classical influences, but also site-specific ethnic ones as well. MORE

November 10, 2003

TRIAGE

Twenty Minute Cliff
Okka Disk OD12045

JASON ROEBKE
Rapid Croche
482 Music 1016

Every three decades or so Chicago improvisers become the focus of the music world -- or perhaps the rest of the planet merely catches up with what’s been happening in the Windy City all along.

This first took place in the late 1920s when Young Lions such as Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines revolutionized jazz music with a solo-oriented approach. Then in the mid-1960s, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) appeared with explorers like Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams who showed that Free Music could be complex and meticulous as well as blues-based and emotional. Fast forward to the 21st century, and everyone from Austrian laptopers to German ecstatic soloists appears to be working with a new wave of Chicago-based players. MORE

February 22, 2002

SCOTT ROSENBERG

V: Solo Improvisations
Umbrella Records 026

SCOTT ROSENBERG’S RED
Owe
Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1135

Shortly before the sessions that produced his CD of saxophone duets with Anthony Braxton on his own Barely Auditable label, Chicago-based Scott Rosenberg went Braxton one better with these solo improvisations for contrabass clarinet, flute and sopranino saxophone.

Of course, Braxton’s FOR ALTO from 1968 still remains the benchmark against which all subsequent improv-based solo reed sessions have to be measured. He was first --or at least the first to be audacious about putting out an entire solo LP -- and he deserves all the subsequent fame or infamy. MORE