Reviews that mention Lina Allemano

July 16, 2020

Lina Allemano’s Ohrenschmaus

Rats and Mice
Lumo Records LM 2019-10

By Ken Waxman

Splitting her time between Toronto and Berlin, local trumpeter Lina Allemano now has a European combo to complement her long-standing Canadian bands. Rock-solid German drummer Michael Griener and agile Norwegian electric bassist Dan Peter Sundland bring startling originality to the trumpeter’s compositions which broaden from Allemano’s cunning use of extended techniques. Frequently shadowing Allemano’s lead, the bassist’s thumb pops and moderated slaps perfectly augment trumpet timbres whether they’re spit out at a speedy pace or as grounded gurgling growls. As for the drummer, his tasteful side clips and rolling ruffs ensure the tunes maintain a steady pulse. MORE

January 13, 2020

Nick Fraser/Kris Davis/Tony Malaby

Astral Spirits MF216/AS 112

By Ken Waxman

Somewhat of a misnomer, since Toronto drummer Nick Fraser, Canadian-in-Brooklyn pianist Kris Davis and New York saxophonist Tony Malaby are joined by German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Toronto/Berlin trumpeter Lina Allemano on half of the six tracks. Still, this Toronto-recorded session is effective with both configurations.

As a trio, especially on Davis’ composition “Events”, the exposition is pulled out to a logical point with the pianist’s rapid key clipping and Malaby’s intense growling action climaxing together, until dark piano voicing coupled with a tender reed line transform the track into a near ballad. Meanwhile in quintet form the tunes modulate from ambulatory to atonal. The former is exposed on Fraser’s “Wells Tower”, when balanced and individual split tones from Laubrock on tenor and Malaby on soprano saxophones bounce to a neatly harmonized intensity as the trumpeter creates a brassy affirmation to the narrative. Free sounds get are featured most prominently on “Sketch 46”, another Fraser line. Here intermittent keyboard patterning plus strumming and stopped internal piano strings form the backdrop to crying corkscrew sequences and no-key pressure blowing from the reeds as Allemano’s twitters and doodles course among the reed layers, with the track firmly anchored and completed by chiming keyboard runs. MORE

September 17, 2019

Michael Vlatkovich/5 Winds

Five of Us

By Ken Waxman

Gathering four of Toronto’s most accomplished horn players to collaborate on his 9 Winds Suite and other compositions, American trombonist Michael Vlatkovich recorded this disc at Array Space, producing sounds that recall both a disciplined concert band and a freeform improvising ensemble.

Dividing the presentation so that the higher-pitched trumpets of Lina Allemano and Nicole Rampersaud are contrapuntally stacked against darker timbres from David Mott’s and Peter Lutek’s saxophones, the trombonist challenges or harmonizes with each group in turn, lowing snarls when called for and shrilling flutter tones when necessary. Working through call-and-response sections as well as individual solo spots, the crafty arrangements are particularly notable on the suite. Sophisticatedly layered to highlight individual voices, a climax of sorts arrives with “Part 5: Five”. Mott’s baritone saxophone sighs move from melodious harmony to screaming intensity as the muted brass tones bolster the background. Although top-of-range cries and slurs dominate, dissonance never upsets forward motion. MORE

January 2, 2019

Jazztopad Festival 2018

November 20-25, 2018
Wroclaw, Poland

By Ken Waxman

Photos by Susan O'Connor

Inclusion is what makes Jazztopad, the annual festival in Wroclaw, Poland, so notable. While visitors see a cross-section of international players on stage at the modernist, glass-clad Witold Lutoslawski National Forum of Music (NFM) each night, they’re also welcome at the nightly jam sessions in the funky basement Mleczarnia Club around the corner. On weekend afternoons they can participate in house concerts in selected locations around Wroclaw, where accomplished locals trade musical ideas with visiting players, including some featured at NFM concerts. MORE

November 6, 2018

The Cluttertones

SnailBongBong SBB 005

Okkyung Lee

Cheol-Kkot-Sae [Steel.Flower.Bird]

Tzadik TZ 4923

Big Bold Back Bone

In Search of the Emerging Species

Shhpuma SSH 032 CD

Elliott Sharp’s Carbon

Transmigration at the Solar Max

Intakt CD 311

Pavillon Rouge

Solution n⸰5

LFDS Records LFDS 006

Something in the Air: Eclectic: Electronics stretches the definition of Innovative Music

By Ken Waxman MORE

August 6, 2018

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin

Ninety-Nine Years
Libra Records 211-047

Some people collect classic cars, others specific paintings, but Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii collects groups. Besides the number of duos, trios and quartets the peripatetic pianist is part of, she has organized – at last count – five different big bands, each relating to where in Europe, Asia or North America she happened to be residing at the time. At the same time Ninety-Nine Years, a new configuration of her Orchestra Berlin, demonstrates that her skill as orchestrator, pianist and composer are formidable for every item in her collection. She has help of course. Featured on this disc’s five tracks, are besides her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, of international, Berlin-based players Polish baritone saxophonist Paulina Owczarek, French drummer Peter Orins, Canadian trumpeter Lina Allemano, and Germans Richard Koch (trumpet(; Matthias Müller (trombone); Matthias Schubert and Gebhard Ullmann (tenor saxophones); Jan Roder (bass) and Michael Griener (drums). MORE

January 11, 2018

Lina Allemano Four

Sometimes Y
Lumo Records LM 2017-7


Avant Garde Party Music

Clean Feed CF 441 CD

With brevity of execution on their side two similarly constituted quartets – one Canadian and one Norwegian – have come up with singular takes on the piano-less group. Both Toronto-based trumpeter Lina Allemano Four and Norway’s Cortex take advantage of the airiness engendered with not being constructed by chordal instruments. However Allemano’s group, filled out by alto saxophonist Brodie West, bassist Andrew Downing and drummer Nick Fraser operates more in the mold of Ornette Coleman’s 1960s groups with Don Cherry. A younger ensemble than the 12-year-old Four, though with more sessions in its discography, Cortex, made up of trumpeter Thomas Johansson, alto and tenor saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, bassist Ola Hoyer and drummer Gard Nilssen brings a shot of Punk-Rock energy to its eight selections which it barrels though in 37 minutes flat. MORE

June 27, 2005


Featuring Howard Johnson
Guildwood GR 006

Several Lights
Delmark DE 561

Long the most neglected member of the improv brass family – at least since Wellman Braud switched from it to the string bass to meet the demands of Duke Ellington’s 1920s band – the tuba’s orphan status has improved over the past decades.

Because of such subterranean sound sponsors as Americans Howard Johnson, Bob Stewart and Joe Daley, and Giancarlo Schiaffini, Melvyn Poore and Carl Ludwig Hübsch in Europe – among many others – it’s now accepted as a solo as well as a rhythmic instrument. Modern tubaists have so extended the flexibility and range of the brass beast that it’s showing up with increasingly frequency on all sorts of sessions, such as these two. In fact, tuba suppleness is such that each quartet sounds completely unlike other. MORE