Improvised & Free

By Stef Gijssels Music can be very precious, with a few notes carefully positioned leading to a strange sonic universe. We have reviewed Magnus Granberg and Skogen before (reviews here, here and here) and his approach to composed improvisations continues to astonish us.  Like with the previous releases, this one hour long piece evolves slowly, quietly and intimitaley, […]

By Martin Schray Anteloper is the electro-acoustic duo of trumpeter Jaimie Branch and drummer Jason Nazary. Tour Beats Vol. 1 is their second album after their 2018 debut Kudu, a cassette only release, which explored gritty soundscapes with the urban sonic edge intertwined with plenty of melodic-textural hooks. Branch had the idea for that project […]

By Nick Metzger The legendary free improvising percussionist Paul Lytton released a couple of excellent albums earlier this year that I’ve taken a while to get to, one a studio recording with frequent collaborator Nate Wooley, and the other a raucous live recording with a trio of German musicians. Both records are exemplary instances of […]

By Keith Prosk Organist Klaus Lang joins contrabassist Werner Dafeldecker, cellist Michael Moser, and percussionists Burkhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr for three tracks lasting 67 minutes on Unseen. Lang is the latest in a long line of Polwechsel contributors that fits well with the morphing group’s distinctive aesthetic and includes John Butcher, Fennesz, Radu Malfatti, […]

Violinist Biliana Voutchkova, cellist Michael Rauter, and violist Nurit Stark perform four works from minimalist composer Ernstalbrecht Stiebler on Für Biliana. Two of the pieces, the solo eponymous track and solo “Glissando,” were composed for the violinist, in 2015 and 2016 respectively. While “Duo 4 / Parallelen,” with Rauter, is another relatively recent composition from […]

(© Peter Gannushkin) By Eyal Haruveni The great Japanese trumpeter Itaru Oki, one of the pioneers of the Japanese free jazz and free music scene, passed away on August 25. Oki was born to a musical family in Kobe in Sep. 10, 1941. His father played the shakuhachi and his mother played the koto. Oki […]

By Stuart Broomer In 2018, New York-based alto saxophonist Patrick Brennan and Lisbon-based prepared guitarist Abdul Moimême recorded the duo CD Terraphonia (Creative Sources). The two had been long-acquainted but their usual orientations were significantly different, Brennan working in the free reaches of jazz, Moimême very much a free improviser. While Brennan is part of […]

By Stef Gijssels Definitely a winner. It’s been a while since we heard from West Coast trumpeter extraordinaire Kris Tiner, reviewed frequently before with MTKG/Empty Cage Quartet or in the Tin/Bag duo with Mike Bagetta on guitar. From what we read and find, he’s been active in several other bands, but not as the leader, […]

By Stef Gijssels The album starts furiously, with sharp stuttering trumpet sounds, jagged drumming and a plunky bass. No time to relax, you’re drawn in immediately, especially when the trumpet suddenly shifts to a clear and pleasant phrase. Styles and genres crash into each other with sheer delight: intense, harsh, gentle and subtle at the […]

By Nick Metzger Following on the heels of recent releases with Bill Nace, our water is fire finds Nova Scotian jaw harp ace chik white on his second release with fellow Great White Northerner and prolific multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher. Their first release, 2018’s pacific rim and hastings, combined recordings of the duo made in BC’s […]


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