Patchwork Jazz Orchestra, Splinter Reeds, Colunia, Asymmetric Universe, Ultra Zook, and Kouma

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra – The Adventures of Mr. Pottercakes (Spark Label)

The London-based seventeen-piece big band Patchwork recently released their debut album, The Adventures of Mr. Pottercakes, via the lovely Spark Label. The compositions here are lush and broad in styles, thanks to the seven composers behind them and the musicianship of the performers in this great jazz orchestra. The songs are at times romantic, at times evocative, impressionist, or abstract. Listening to this is pure pleasure, for its varied and well-groomed influences and stylistic choices. Plus, at over an hour of material, you’ve got quite enough to get … Read more

Oort Smog, Serpents of Pakhangba, White Pulse, Rïga, Mopcut, and Toned

Oort Smog – Smeared Pulse Transfers (Sweat Band Records)

Oort Smog is the collaborative output of saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, of Corima fame, and Mark Kimbrell, both of which also play in Upsilon Acrux. Needless to say, the release of this twenty-minute EP is long overdue! Coming out on 26 April, Smeared Pulse Transfers sees the duo at their best—performance- and creativity-wise—and it’s a most satisfactory snack while we wait for the next full-length of their main band(s). You can have an avant-goût of the [incredibly good] album with this live video, just imagine this with much better production value … Read more

Fet Nat, Kitzl, and Battlebear

Fet Nat – Le mal [no wave, punk jazz, musique concrète]

Fet Nat—stylized FET.NAT—presents a unique and exciting excursion into sound collage, spoken word, and dope drum and bass. With Le mal the group gives us a work that defies any notion of convention and breaks fresh ground with every infant second. Ambient tapestries are woven through hypnotic grooves with the … Read more

Monthly Recommendations: February 2019

Anna Webber – Clockwise (Pi Recordings)

Anna Webber is a New York-based woodwind player and composer. Clockwise is her latest effort, offering us an interesting, thought-provoking séance. With many rhythmic changes, contrapuntal interchanges, and a modern sense of harmony and melody, Anna Webber has crafted here a fantastic album—her sixth one—performed by a proficient septet in which she also takes part. The album is really brilliant, a must!

João MacDowell – The Seventh Seal (IBOC)

The Seventh Seal is a modern opera by Brazilian composer João MacDowell. Adapted from the Swedish movie by Ingmar Bergman Det sjunde inseglet, it is

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Miho Hazama, Fahmi Mursyid & Yuko Araki, Alexander Hawkins, Arcadia Trio, RSLG Quartet, and Anna Webber

Miho Hazama – Dancer in Nowhere (Sunnyside Records)

Japanese composer Miho Hazama offers us a delightful collection of pieces on her latest album, Dancer in Nowhere. Played by the versatile and labile M Unit collective, here seventeen strong, the big band feeling is unmistakable. Miho’s compositions are modern and fresh, offering many a pleasant surprise, some of which can be heard in the preview track, “Today, Not Today”. In short, if you like what you hear, there is much, much more lying beyond the preview.

Fahmi Mursyid & Yoku Araki – Akur (Insitu Recordings)

Akur is the latest release … Read more