Reviews that mention Richard Teitelbaum

March 8, 2019

Marilyn Crispell/Tanya Kalmanovitch/Richard Teitelbaum

Dream Libretto
Leo Records CD LR 849

By Ken Waxman

A rare departure for American pianist Marilyn Crispell and Canadian violinist Tanya Kalmanovitch, who are usually involved with spiky improvisational work, this mostly sombre program instead deals with loss and regeneration reflected in a five-part Crispell composition for trio and seven duo improvisations.

Showcased, “Memoria/For Pessa Malka” is the pianist’s formal composition, and evolves in different sequences to reflect the emotions she felt following the recent deaths of close relatives and friends. Crucially, Richard Teitelbaum’s wave-form processing is funeral parlor-like muted, with the requisite sense of mourning really conveyed by brief violin sweeps that help amplify the pianist’s low-frequency threnody. Luckily when the final sequence is heard, Crispell has shaken off enough melancholy to enliven the coda with chiming piano chords. MORE

September 5, 2017

Météo Mulhouse Music Festival

August 22 to August 26, 2017

A consistent French tradition like chewy baguettes, fine Camembert or Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mulhouse, France’s Météo Festival, now in its 35th year, continues to present exemplary musicians in concert, without the program ever becoming homogeneous. What this means is that while the festival which took place August 22-August 26, was introduced and reached a climax with absorbing and innovative with sets by veteran Imptov saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, performances which encompassed minimalism, hard-core Free Jazz, electronics, Rock, notated and folkloric music were part of the schedule. MORE

July 8, 2017

Musica Elettronica Viva

Symphony No. 106
Victo cd 129

By Ken Waxman

A milestone itself, Symphony No. 106 captures one of the infrequent regroupings of Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV), almost 40 years after its three founders – Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum – organized it in Rome. Recorded at last year’s festival International du Musique Actuelle du Victoriaville in Quebec the 62-minute piece is scarcely anyone’s idea of a twilight leave taking. Pioneers of electronic interface and non-jazz-sourced improvisation, the three sophisticatedly adapt computer processing and patches plus multi-keyboard crackles and jiggles to their own ends. Like modernist printers who also use precision hand presses for certain projects, the single track’s narration at point is given mournful fillip by blasts from the furthest reaches of Curran’s shofar, while connecting motifs are produced by processional melodies from Rzewski’s piano. MORE

June 11, 2015

Anthony Braxton

Trio and Duet
Sackville (Delmark) SK3007



Red Toucan RT 9349

Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Septet


Victo 127

Harris Eisenstadt

Golden State II

Songlines SGL 1610-2



TourdeBras TDB90012 CD

Something In The Air: Canadian Exposure for Out-of-the-Country Out-of-the-Ordinary Improvisers

By Ken Waxman

Just as international improvisers sometimes find a more welcoming atmosphere for their sound experiments in Canada than at home, so too have Canadian record labels become a vehicle to release notable free music sessions. Attesting to this openness, two of the most recent discs by British saxophone master Evan Parker are on Canadian imprints. But each arrived by a different route. One of the triumphs of 2014’s Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Quebec, this performance of Seven by Parker’s ElectroAcoustic Septet (Victo 127) are available on Victo, FIMAV’s affiliated imprint. Consisting of one massive and one shorter instant composition, Seven literally delineates the electro-acoustic divide. Trumpeter Peter Evans, reedist Ned Rothenberg, cellist Okkyung Lee and Parker make up the acoustic side, while varied laptop processes are operated by Ikue Mori and Sam Pluta, with George Lewis switching between laptop and trombone, with his huffing brass tone making a particular impression during a contrapuntal faced-off with Parker’s soprano saxophone during Seven-2. At nearly 46 minutes, “Seven-1” is the defining work, attaining several musical crests during its ghostly, meandering near time-suspension, Allowing for full expression of instrumental virtuosity, dynamic flutters, flanges and processes from the laptoppists accompany, comment upon or challenge the acoustic instruments. Alternately wave forms loops and echoes cause the instrumentalists to forge their reposes. Plenty of sonic surprises arise during the sequences. Undefined processed-sounding bee-buzzing motifs for example are revealed as mouth and lip modulations from Evans’ piccolo trumpet or aviary trills from Rothenberg’s clarinet. In contrast the electronics’ crackles and static are often boosted into mellower affiliations that sound purely acoustic. Eventually both aspects meld into a climax of bubbly consistency with any background-foreground, electro or acoustic displays satisfactorily melded. More percussive “Seven-2” has a climax involving fragmented electronics pulsating steadily as first Evans, then Rothenberg and finally Parker spill out timbres that confirm formalism as much as freedom. MORE

August 16, 2012

Steve Lacy

The Sun (1967-73)
Emanem 5022

Steve Lacy Quintet


Clean Feed CF 247 CD

Comfortable in his status as an expatriate musician, by the late 1960s soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (1934-2004) was ensconced in Europe experimenting with different configurations. When he finally settled on his unique version of the quintet format, he maintained it on-and-off for the next quarter century. These valuable reissues of tracks from 1967, 1968, 1972 and 1973 not only itemize his early combo experiments, but also demonstrate the subtle shifts in Lacy’s playing at that time that would characterize his work from then on. MORE

March 8, 2010

Sound Commitments Avant-Garde Music and the Sixties

Edited by Robert Adlington
Oxford University Press

“If you remember the Sixties, it means you weren’t there” is a cliché with a kernel of truth in it – especially the insistence that rock sounds subsumed other music then. Yet the Sixties also saw mass acceptance of New and electronic music, while jazz’s most radical sounds divorced it from its role as entertainment.

Sound Commitments aims to redefine that momentous decade in a dozen essays about advanced sonic experimentation that tried to negotiate the currents between political movements and individual expression. On the evidence, triumph of the later over the former created the longest lasting sounds. MORE

July 3, 2009

Musica Elettronica Viva

MEV 40
New World Records 80675-2

Consisting of a nucleus of academically trained composers who promoted free improvisation and group interaction, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) was the sort of musical aggregation that could only have been born in the 1960s.

Yet as this absorbing four-CD set of MEV performances – from its beginning in 1967, to its 40th anniversary – proves, the group’s triumphs are musically sophisticated as well as sociologically notable. Willingly subsuming the vaulted tradition of a single composer into group interaction, MEV’s most notable pieces added the smarts of jazz improvisers and the sonic versatility of increasingly complex electronic instruments to the compositional stew. Furthermore, the group has survived all these years because it never allowed electronics to submerge its initial humanistic and populist approach. MORE

June 16, 2003


New Albion NA 118

482 Music 482-1018

Adapting the sounds of traditional Japanese music to Western sensibilities has occupied Occidental musicians from the time contact was first made in the mid-19th century. Mixing electronics, computers and acoustic instruments has been another leitmotif of the mid-20th century.

That the musicians on these CDs attempt to meld both of these concepts is noteworthy enough; that they add a dollop of free improvisation to the other ingredients ratchets up the interest factor. MORE