Reviews that mention Henry Kaiser

December 22, 2018


Mudang Rock
Fractal Music 2028-801

Luckily more “Mudang” than “Rock”, this long (71 minute plus) CD is another marker in California guitarist Henry Kaiser’s decades long investigation of Korean shamanistic music. This time out he’s aided by an A team of like-minded sound explorers. Austrian percussionist Simon Barker is as skillful playing traditional Korean music which he has studied for two decades, as Jazz. American Bill Laswell is best known for his production work that melded Rock Funk, Electro, Hip Hop and world rhythms, as well as his bass playing with the likes of Ronald Shannon Jackson. Additional string players are added on a couple of tracks, but Mudang Rock’s most crucial element is the playing of New York-based alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Already noted for his ability to add echoes of his East Indian heritage to improvisation, Mahanthappa’s searing interjections adhere the seven tracks to serious sonic tropes and away from faux exoticism. MORE

June 1, 2018

Wadada Leo Smith

TUM CD 049



Libra 204-043

After more than a half century of diverse music making, at 76, Wadada Leo Smith is now considered a major American composer, player and academic theoretician, with the consequent awards and accolades that accrue from that status. Yet they haven’t kept him away from new objectives. Acknowledged for his large-form and solo work, he’s also been part of many combos since he Leroy Jenkins and Anthony Braxton hooked up in the late 1960s. Known for his skills in an all-acoustic environment these new CDs demonstrate his dexterity in an electronic environment and true to form each illuminates a singular aspect of that area. MORE

September 13, 2017

Rova/Kyle Bruckmann/Henry Kaiser

Steve Lacy’s Saxophone Special Revisited
Clean Feed CF 415 CD

Uwe Oberg/Rudi Mahall/Michael Griener

Lacy Pool…2

Leo Records CD LR 792

With saxophonist Steve Lacy’s death now 13 years in the past, musicians have begun dealing with his musical legacy in different ways. Like a visual artist celebrated for his painting who was also an accomplished sculptor, Lacy’s capability as a master improviser who established the soprano saxophone in modern Jazz is unquestioned; evaluating the music he composed over a 50-year career is the next challenge. The CDs here realize the material’s potential however because each group involved interprets Lacy’s works according to its own ideas, rather than embalming it as is the concept behind so-called ghost bands. MORE

November 22, 2004


Sky Garden
Cuneiform Rune 191/192

One of the most memorable -- if not the most memorable -- tributes to Miles Davis, the exultant Yo Miles! band makes its case for a variety of reasons.

First of all, it leaves the BIRTH OF THE COOL and ALL BLUES emulation to the neo-cons and instead concentrates on Davis’ little-appreciated 1971-1975 electric period. Second, unlike younger fusion bands that have recorded embarrassingly overwrought electric Miles imitations, Yo Miles! bandleaders -- guitarist Henry Kaiser and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith -- are old enough to have heard the sounds when they first appeared. Third, the two and their sidefolk approach the concept languidly, having worked on and refined their ideas -- while involved in other projects -- since 1998. MORE