Reviews that mention Weasel Walter

March 11, 2017

Ewen/Smith/Walter

Live in Texas
>x<006/ Balance Point Acoustics BPALTD-608

By Ken Waxman

Set up like a rock Power Trio CD, this 73-minute extravaganza may feature the standard guitar, bass and drums line-up, but the seven extended improvisations offer a lot more than standard rhythmic formulae. Not that there isn’t musical strength expressed. Houston, Texas-based Sandy Ewen, who plays guitar and objects here, grew up in Oshawa, Ont., and seems able to transfer some of the perpetually noisy industrialization from that city’s auto plants’ assembly lines into powerful texture-bending crackles and flanges. Like an up-to-date assembly line however, despite necessarily emphatic crunches, knob-twisting and string snapping each of the tunes moves resolutely forward. MORE

August 1, 2016

Steve Swell

Reflections & Renewals
NotTwo MW 929-2

Michael Jefry Stevens

Brass Tactics

Konnex KCD 5315

Building on your experiences and concentrating on your best attributes are two elements of many people’s persona once they reach their sixth decade. It’s the same with musicians – especially if they’re involved with Jazz and/or improvised music. Attaining or coming close to seven decades of life either side of 60 gives provides many enhanced creativity. Gifted with new maturity, unlike most Pop performers, who fasten on their teens and twenties, creative improvisers continue producing major works, some of which because of honed skills are even better than those produced before. MORE

February 16, 2015

Yoni Kretzmer/Pascal Niggenkemper/Weasel Walter

Protest Music
OutNow Recordings ONR 017

Baloni

Belleke

Clean Feed CF 305 CD

Musical terrorists in the best sense, these two trios may frighten some by how they deconstruct and reorganize their themes and improvisations. Besides realizing that one person’s definition of a terrorist is another’s characterization of a freedom fighter, each band defines free music in a different fashion.

One could say that in conception and instrumentation Baloni plays European-influenced free music and the other trio, American-oriented experimental sounds. However both ensembles are anchored by the string sophistication of French-German double bassist Pascal Niggenkemper. Also while Protest Music may fit in with the genre of go-for-broke improv pioneered by the likes of Cleveland’s Albert Ayler, only one member of that trio is American-born. Drummer Weasel Walter whose percussion navigation buoys from the harshest reaches of Black Metal to the rough subtleties of Free Jazz is a Chicago-area native. Tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer is an Israeli transplanted to Brooklyn. Meanwhile Niggenkemper’s Baloni colleagues are European – French violist Frantz Loriot and Belgian multi-reedist Joachim Badenhorst. Overall, just as committed democracy movements can reach for similar goals by following radically different paths, Belleke’s sonic textures may differ widely from those heard on Protest Music. But each offers a suitable strong program. MORE

December 21, 2014

NPR 9th Annual Jazz Critics Poll: 2014

Ken Waxman’s ballot

NEW RELEASES

1. Yoni Kretzmer-Pascal Niggenkemper-Weasel Walter, Protest Music (OutNow)

2. Paul Giallorenzo, Force Majeure (Delmark)

3. Kyle Bruckmann, . . . Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire (SingleSpeed Music)

4. Sakata/Lonberg-Holm/Gutvik/Nilssen-Love, The Cliff of Time (PNL)

5. Alexander Hawkins, Step Wide, Step Deep (Babel)

6. François Carrier-Michel Lambert-Alexey Lapin, The Russia Concerts Volume 1/The Russia Concerts Volume 2 (FMR)

7. Rodrigo Amado & Jeb Bishop, The Flame Alphabet (NotTwo) MORE

February 17, 2013

Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter

Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter
UgEXPLODE ug53

Die Dicken Finger

Offroad Core

Gligg Records 012

With more-or-less the same instrumental line-up as a customary Rock power trio, these ensembles nonetheless stretch the expected timbral concord into experimental territory without sacrificing the speed and power associated with Hard Rock.

Cunning in its subtle distortion of electric guitar-electric-bass-drums motifs, the German trio Die Dicken Finger (DDF) or in English “The thickness of the fingers” could likely sneak onto a bill at a Heavy Metal festival until the realization dawned that the all-instrumental band was playing riffs just a little too sophisticated for the show. Committed to interjecting unexpected improvised asides into their music, the Americans on the other CD proclaim their individuality with the miscellaneous percussion brought to the gig by New York’s Weasel Walter plus the laptop and field recordings utilized alongside his 7-string upright bass by Houston’s Damon Smith. At the same time Sandy Ewen, another Houston resident, busies herself creating the expected electric guitar riffs and distortion. MORE

March 4, 2011

Weasel Walter-Mary Halvorson-Peter Evans

Electric Fruit
Thirsty Ear THI 57196

By Ken Waxman

Probably one of the few instances in improvised music where a powerful drummer often has to play more assertively to be heard amid the virtuosic and fortissimo sounds from the guitarist and trumpeter, Electric Fruit is a different take on the a jazz trio conception.

For a start the instrumentation is unusual. More distinctively the six tracks here aren’t designed as chops displays but as a way for three talented free-form improvisers to investigate the tonal possibilities of their instruments while aiming for a tripartite blend. Progenitor of aggressive rock-inflected improv with everyone from bassist Damon Smith to saxophonist Marshall Allen, drummer Weasel Walter is more than a backbeat specialist. Guitarist Mary Halvorson flits from folksy duets with violist Jessica Pavone to sophisticated contributions to composer Anthony Braxton’s ensembles. Known for his spectacular work with saxophonist Evan Parker and Mostly Other People do the Killing, trumpeter Peter Evans can apparently play anything and frequently does. MORE

July 19, 2009

Lindsay/Mendoza/Smith/Walter

Jus
Balance Point Acoustics bpa013

Hartsaw/Aspelin/Smith/Bryerton

Ausfegen: Dedicated to Joseph Beuys

Balance Point Acoustics bpa012

Like most other generalities, the differences between so-called European and so-called American free music are more purported then real. Especially in the 21st Century when jet planes, the Internet and other advances have shrunk inter-continental chasms, the gulf between the two proposed by musicians like Derek Bailey – who often had an axe as well as his guitar to grind – seem fanciful. MORE

July 19, 2009

Hartsaw/Aspelin/Smith/Bryerton

Ausfegen: Dedicated to Joseph Beuys
Balance Point Acoustics bpa012

Lindsay/Mendoza/Smith/Walter

Jus

Balance Point Acoustics bpa013

Like most other generalities, the differences between so-called European and so-called American free music are more purported then real. Especially in the 21st Century when jet planes, the Internet and other advances have shrunk inter-continental chasms, the gulf between the two proposed by musicians like Derek Bailey – who often had an axe as well as his guitar to grind – seem fanciful. MORE