Reviews that mention Barry Altschul

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

September 26, 2014

Jon Irabagon

It Takes All Kinds
JazzWerkstatt JW 139

Assif Tsahar/Mark Dresser/Gerry Hemingway

Code Re(a)d

Hopscotch Records HOP48

Two youngish tenor saxophonists provide their own takes on the classic sax-double bass-drums formation with these discs attaining, but not surpassing, the praxis defined by progenitors like Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler and Joe Henderson. Very much Free Jazz rather than Free Music, each CD has eight tracks and each is splendidly performed. The main demarcation is that Jon Irabagon’s It Takes All Kinds is a saxophone tour-de-force backed by a veteran rhythm section, whereas Code Re(a)d is more of a group effort with contributions from reedist Assif Tsahar, bassist Mark Dresser and percussionist Gerry Hemingway. MORE

December 23, 2013

8th Annual Jazz Critics Poll – NPR Music

Ken Waxman
(The New York City Jazz Record, Jazz Word)

NEW RELEASES

1. Convergence Quartet, Slow and Steady (NoBusiness)

2. Andrew Cyrille, Duology (Jazzwerkstatt)

3. Black Host, Life in the Sugar Candle Mines (Northern Spy)

4. Scott Neumann, Blessed (Origin)

5. Michel Edelin, Resurgence (RogueArt)

6. Ab Baars-Meinard Kneer-Bill Elgart, Give No Quarter (Evil Rabbit)

7. Maria Faust, Jazz Catastrophe (Barefoot)

8. Barry Altschul, The 3dom Factor (TUM)

9. Mark Dresser, Nourishments (Clean Feed)

10. Alexey Kruglov-Alexey Lapin-Jaak Sooäär-Oleg Yudanov, Military Space (Leo) MORE

December 8, 2013

Paul Bley Trio

Closer
ESP-Disk ESP 1021

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Live at Maya Recordings Festival

NoBusiness NBCD 55

Butcher/Buck/Mayas/Stangl

Plume

Unsounds 35u

Michel Doneda/Joris Rühl

Linge

Umlaut Records umfrcd 07

Lori Freedman & John Heward

On No On

Mode Avant 16

Matt Mitchell

Fiction

Pi Recordings PI50

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake
MORE

August 28, 2013

Barry Altschul

The 3Dom Factor
TUM CD 032

Maintaining his creativity after more than 50 years as a professional musician, this first-rate CD of improvisations and mostly originals by drummer Barry Altschul, 70, proves that when it comes to the creative musician, age is just a number.

Over the years Altschul, who lived for extended periods in France as well as the United States, has provided the rhythmic impetus behind innovators ranging from veterans like pianist Paul Bley and saxophonist Sam Rivers to younger players such as bassist Adam Lane. The 3Dom Factor offers more of the same. Versatile bassist Joe Fonda is a decade younger than the drummer, while fiery tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon is 35 years his junior. Still it’s accord and experience which account for the sympathetic interaction here. Altschul, Fonda and the late violinist Billy Bang made up the FAB trio; while bassist Mark Helias and Altschul fill out Irabagon’s Foxy trio. Crucially the session also gives the drummer an opportunity to revisit some of his compositions first recorded in the 1970s and 1980s. MORE

June 13, 2013

Festival Report:

Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon
By Ken Waxman

Metaphorically and literally the 2013 edition of the Ulrichsberger Kaldeidophon moved further afield than usual for a festival that has taken place annually at the Jazzatelier in this Austrian alpine village of 3,000 inhabitants near Linz. Not only were improvisers from the UK, US, Eastern and Western Europe represented, but for the first time, a concert for clavichord by Japan’s Makiko Nishikaze took place in a restored 14th Century church in Glöckelberg/Zvonkonva, about 10 kilometres away in the Czech Republic. MORE

December 25, 2012

Sam Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul

Reunion: Live in New York
Pi Recording 45

Memento of a storied Free Jazz trio and now memorial to one of its members who has passed, Reunion: Live in New York captures the first concert in a quarter century by reedist Sam Rivers, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul. Rivers’ unit of choice from 1972-1978, after the trio dissolved each of the men went on to pursue his own projects, most spectacularly Holland whose large and small group have positioned him as one of the few major Jazz festival favorites still trying to create memorable work. MORE

July 12, 2011

Barry Altschul Trio

Brahma
Sackville SKCD2-3023

Julius Hemphill

Roi Boyé & the Gotham Mintrels

Sackville SKCD2-3014/15

Oliver Lake/Julius Hemphill

Buster Bee

Sackville SKCD2-3016

George Lewis

The Solo Trombone Record

Sackville SKCD2-3012

Anthony Davis

Of Blues and Dreams

Sackville SKCD2-3020

Karl Berger & Dave Holland

All Kinds of Time

Sackville SKCD2-3010

Roscoe Mitchell
MORE

July 7, 2011

Festival Report:

Moers Festival June 10 to 12, 2011
By Ken Waxman

Ornette Coleman’s performance at Germany’s Moers Festival was the surprise birthday present celebrating the 40th anniversary of Moers, which takes place annually in this town, about 50 miles from Cologne. Announced earlier, cancelled, and rescheduled, the jazz legend’s performance wasn’t even noted in the official program. Appearing on the fest’s final night, Coleman’s quartet turned in a suitably magisterial set, with the leader, dapper in a suit, infusing his tongue flutters and altissimo reed cries with genuine emotion. Segueing through short selections including classics like “Dancing in Your Head” and “Lonely Woman”, the alto saxophonist’s lines swooped, swerved and sighed, bringing a distinct country blues sensibility to everything he played. MORE

July 13, 2009

Revolutionary Ensemble

Beyond the Boundary of Time
Mutable MM-17532-2

FAB Trio

Live In Amsterdam

Porter Records PRCD-4014

Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007) and his direct successor Billy Bang (b. 1947) occupy unique niches in the history of advanced improvised music. Arguably the first person to fully integrate the violin into both the so-called New Thing and New music, Jenkins’ impelled the traditional instrument’s rhythmic and lyrical functions beyond those of mere lyricism or rudimentary swing. While the older string player turned increasingly towards formal composition in his final years, shortly afterwards Bang added an additional dimension of unvarnished rhythmic elasticity to Jenkins’ fiddle liberation. MORE

July 13, 2009

FAB Trio

Live In Amsterdam
Porter Records PRCD-4014

Revolutionary Ensemble

Beyond the Boundary of Time

Mutable MM-17532-2

Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007) and his direct successor Billy Bang (b. 1947) occupy unique niches in the history of advanced improvised music. Arguably the first person to fully integrate the violin into both the so-called New Thing and New music, Jenkins’ impelled the traditional instrument’s rhythmic and lyrical functions beyond those of mere lyricism or rudimentary swing. While the older string player turned increasingly towards formal composition in his final years, shortly afterwards Bang added an additional dimension of unvarnished rhythmic elasticity to Jenkins’ fiddle liberation. MORE

November 7, 2006

FAB (Fonda/Altschul/Bang)

Live at the Iron Works, Vancouver
Konnex KCD 5158

Thomas, Storrs and Sarpolas
Time Share
Louie Records 036

Filled with flowing fancy fiddling, these West-Coast recorded CDs showcase the initial and most recent violinist from the long-running String Trio of New York.

They offer much more than that, of course and despite a similarity in personnel, the discs couldn’t be more different. An Eugene, Ore.-native on visit to Corvallis, Ore., violinist Rob Thomas slides through a set of spontaneous compositions in the company of local drummer – and label owner – Dave Storrs, plus other New York visitors, fellow Pacific Northwest expat, bassist Dick Sarpola and his son, percussionist George Sarpola. Thus the TS&S name. Backyard snapshots in the booklet testify to the informality of the session: everyone is wearing shorts and sandals and a nearby table is heaped with chips, dips and soft drinks. MORE

November 7, 2006

Thomas, Storrs and Sarpolas

Time Share
Louie Records 036

FAB (Fonda/Altschul/Bang)
Live at the Iron Works, Vancouver
Konnex KCD 5158

Filled with flowing fancy fiddling, these West-Coast recorded CDs showcase the initial and most recent violinist from the long-running String Trio of New York.

They offer much more than that, of course and despite a similarity in personnel, the discs couldn’t be more different. An Eugene, Ore.-native on visit to Corvallis, Ore., violinist Rob Thomas slides through a set of spontaneous compositions in the company of local drummer – and label owner – Dave Storrs, plus other New York visitors, fellow Pacific Northwest expat, bassist Dick Sarpola and his son, percussionist George Sarpola. Thus the TS&S name. Backyard snapshots in the booklet testify to the informality of the session: everyone is wearing shorts and sandals and a nearby table is heaped with chips, dips and soft drinks. MORE

December 29, 2003

FAB

Transforming the Space
CIMP #284

MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN/MATTHIAS KAUL
Christian Wolff: Bread and Roses
Wergo WER 6658 2

Combining the timbres from the violin and percussion symbolically characterizes the miscegenation that has defined modern music since at least the beginning of the last century. There’s probably a no more European instrument than the violin, or a more African one than the drum. Thus contemporary musical history involves a gradual rapprochement between those two powerful sources. MORE

January 24, 2002

ANTHONY BRAXTON

News from the 70s
Felmay/Newtone FY 7005

With his MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” and his tenured position at Wesleyan University now part of his storied past, it would seem that Anthony Braxton has attained the respect he deserves as an academic and a serious American composer. However, a document like this CD -- or “text” as the academics would term it -- serves as a reminder of how he achieved what he did.

Organized by Italian jazz writer Francesco Martinelli and consisting of almost 75 minutes of tapes from Braxton’s private tape stash, the newest track dates from 1976 and the oldest from 1971. Braxton’s improvising and band leading is emphasized as much as his composing here, and hearing him in contexts ranging from solo to quartet you quickly pick up on the skill, technique and intensity that drew people to him in the first place. Hitherto-unknown compositions and new versions of older compositions are exposed, as are unique or under-recorded partnerships. MORE