Reviews that mention Andy Moor

October 1, 2015

Festival Report

By Ken Waxman

Multi-media, theatricalism and electronics were the motifs that kept cropping up during the Météo Festival (August 25-29) in this Alsatian city known for its textile industry and unique German-French flair. There were also plenty of intense improvisations in its venues, confirming the continued strength of the 33-year-old festival.

Artistic mixing was most prominent during Météo’s opening concert in the Italianate 19th Century Théâtre de la Sinne as the French Surnatural Orchestra interacted with a screening of Italian director Dario D’Aregento’s 1975 slasher film Profondo Rosso. Unlike most music-with-cinema programs where live playing is subordinated to the visuals, this bloody over-the-top Hitchcock-Goddard-Fellini pastiche was frozen at various junctures for limber solos by a dancer, a speaker’s pseudo-pretentious film analysis, a scream from the stalls, cabaret style singing and a Second Line march through the audience. Still, no sonic moments stood out, and the exercise could be liked to someone decked out in full Carnaby Street fashion surmounting the outfit with a Viking helmet. MORE

July 6, 2015

Festival Report

Ring Ring
By Ken Waxman

Try to imagine any North American TV network telecasting a performance by Charles Gayle that’s simultaneously broadcast on radio and via live streaming. Impossible, right? But that’s exactly what took place mid-way through the annual Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade Serbia. Facing an enthusiastic studio audience, Gayle on piano and tenor saxophone plus Polish bassist Ksawery Wojcinski’s subtle string bending and German drummer Klaus Kugel’s aggressive, but un-antagonistic beats played for one hour. This unique programming characterizes Ring Ring (May 19-25) in colorful Belgrade, a city poised between East and West which has been subject to periodic sieges and bombardments since the 14th Century including NATO’s in 1999. Slightly constrained by the studio, Gayle’s tenor saxophone playing was less ferocious than in the past although still characterized by wide vibrato and molten intensity, which was put to good use on a run through of “Ghosts” and during duets with the bassist’s choppy thrusts. A unique pianist, Gayle favored the instrument’s dark register with boogie-woogie allusions, supplemented by his own voicing, which re-harmonized standards like “I’ll Remember You” and “What’s New”, dissected them, eventually revealing the melody, like an X-ray of the skeleton beneath the skin. MORE

June 18, 2013

Lean Left

Live at Café Oto
Unsounds 32U

Double Tandem


PNL Records PNL 013

The Resonance Ensemble

What Country is This?

NotTwo MW 885-2

Fire! Orchestra


Rune Grammofon RDCD 2138

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

March 11, 2012


Gas Station Sessions Platenbakkerij PB001

Beneficiary of a Dutch attitude which gives musicians the freedom to leapfrog from one stylistic outpost to another, keyboardist Cor Fuhler has created a nine-piece ensemble which revels in its eccentricity. At the same time, each member of the Corkestra puts his or her distinct concepts into play while interpreting Fuhler’s 10 compositions on this distinctive Toronto-recorded session.

Although all participants are improvisers, some like flutist Anne La Berge and Nora Mulder, who plays the cimbalom or hammered dulcimer come from the so-called classical music field. Meanwhile multi-reedist Tobias Delius, known for his membership in the ICP Orchestra and bassist Wilbert de Joode, who steers many ensembles for pianist Michel Braam and others and drummer Michael Vatcher, part of the Availa6ble Jelly band are committed Jazzmen. Guitarist Andy Moor is a member of Punk-Improvisers The Ex, drummer Tony Buck drifts between groove-directed The Necks, Rock and experimental improv, while clarinetist Xavier Charles usually specializes in revealing more abstract tones alongside saxophonist John Butcher and others. MORE

November 16, 2010


Unsounds CD 20U

Ernst Karel/Annette Krebs

Falter 1-5

Cathnor cath 008

On the surface is may appear that there are similarities between these European CDs which pair an eclectic guitarist with an academically trained electronics manipulator for extended improvisations. But while both have much to offer the adventurous listener, they couldn’t be more unlike.

For a start, Rebetika is involved with the rearrangement, reassembling and deconstruction of nine rebetika tunes, using samples of the early 20th century so-called Greek blues as the base on which to perform electronically altered, re-compositions. Falter 1-5, on the other hand, deals with abstraction and pure sound, treating the reconstituted sonic properties of the one “real” instrument – the guitar – as a sound source no different from those created by objects such as a mixing-board, tapes and analogue electronics. MORE

May 7, 2010

Colin Mclean/Andy Moor

Everything but the Beginning
Unsounds U17

Colin Mclean/Andy Moor

Everything but the Beginning

Unsounds U17 Bertrand Gauguet/Franz Hautzinger/Thomas Lehn

Close Up

MonotypeRec. mono024


Nectars of Emergence

SOFA 528


Nous percons les oreillesx

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 200 CD

Extended Play: VTO2010

By Ken Waxman

More an enhancement than a replication of Quebec’s Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV), Toronto’s VTO2010 festival cherry picks some of FIMAV’s international performers, presenting them with invited Canadian musicians. As these CDs indicate, the improvisers are impressive no matter the location or formation. MORE

March 8, 2010

Guelph Jazz Festival

Guelph, Ontario
September 9 - 13, 2009

Always populist, the annual Guelph Jazz Festival extended its support of outdoor improvisation plus interaction between Third and First World musicians in its 16th edition, without lessening its commitment to Free Music. Much of the outstanding music-making came from the later however, with American pianist Marilyn Crispell one standout.

Featured in American, European and Canadian group settings, Crispell’s playing was powerful and outer-directed at the River Run Centre concert hall, in a trio with two AACM stalwarts, seemingly ageless tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson and colorful percussionist Hamid Drake, whose rhythmic conception is comfortable in any context. Anderson often quivered or vibrated reflective lines that were paralleled with linear arpeggios or kinetic pedal-pushed frequencies by Crispell. Meantime Drake’s palm or stick movement conveyed all the rhythm. Climax was a version of Muñoz’s “Fatherhood”, built on ecclesiastical chording from the pianist, ruffs and rebounds from Drake and gospel-like preaching from Anderson. MORE

June 6, 2005


Data 044

Quirkiest of the Netherlands’ collection of third generation improvisers, Amsterdam-based keyboardist Cor Fuhler strives to advance beyond the admixture of new classical, jazz and cabaret sound that characterize Dutch improv, especially when created by its best-known practitioners – Misha Mengelberg’s ICP Orchestra and Willem Breuker’s Kollektief.

Fuhler, who studied counterpoint with Mengelberg, has long dabbled in electronics, as well, adding string stimulators, self-made modifications and antiquated electronic keyboards to his presentations. Here, using the talents of his nine-piece so-called Corkestra, he intertwines unique electronic oscillations with timbres from expected – saxophone, flute, clarinet, bass, guitar – and unexpected – cymbalom, singing saw and hammer dulcimer – instruments. Reminiscent of some of John Zorn’s game pieces, he also divides the ensemble into sub-groups, while handing them a collection of riffs, vamps, and melody lines. MORE

July 19, 2004


Antboy Music 03

Red v Green
Unsounds 08U

Although Australian percussionist Will Guthrie is the centre of these and other releases on the Antboy label, like all truly engaged in rhythm men, he meshes his sound with the others for a complete aural picture. Someone who performs on homemade and found instruments as well as a regular traps set, he’s interested in developing an original Australian improvised music identity. But that hasn’t stopped him from playing with overseas improvisers like British reedist John Butcher as well as locals like flautist Jim Denley. Both his associates have a rock background, with guitarist Adam Sussman splitting his time between free rock and sine wave collaborations. Electronics manipulator Matthew Earle, works regularly with Sussman and has played in Japan with Onkyo musicians. MORE

September 15, 2003


Spool/Field SPF 303

Unsounds u04

Like the fabled jazz gunslingers of the 1960s -- saxophonist Sonny Stitt comes most readily to mind -- free music practitioners have become inured to travelling -- regularly moving from town to town and country to country to play their music.

Unlike those 1960s jazz sharpshooters, who roamed like solitary quick draw artists in the Old West, rounding up a posse of backing musicians to support them in taming the music when they arrived in a location, free improvisers are more syndicalist. Rather than seeing themselves as a single playing with a group of deputized accomplices, they integrate themselves into the posse to produce group music. MORE