Emme Phyzema – Emme Phyzema
Emme Phyzema is a solo project out of Columbus, Ohio, by the multi-instrumentalist of the same name, who played all but drums on this release. This self-titled album fits right under the “brutal prog” umbrella. The ten relatively short tracks here are diverse, hectic, and eclectic, and, most of all, insanely good and fun to listen to.
The Machetazo – A Vision in a Dream
Coming from Madrid, Spain, The Machetazo is a jazz fusion quintet that is now releasing its sophomore album. A Vision in a Dream is not really groundbreaking or pushing the limits of the genre, but it’s made with incredible tact and masterfully, tastefully. The pieces are evocative and etch the atmospheres they create slowly, thoughtfully, as a delicate painter. Truly, a beautiful album.
Sam Gill’s Coursed Waters – Many Altered Returns (Earshift Music)
Coursed Waters is the latest project of saxophonist Sam Gill, in the form of a jazz quartet. One of the most interesting features of Many Altered Returns is the cohabitation of composition and improvisation. The two worlds can sometimes be at odds with one another, but, here, they complete each other and work in a sort of supernatural synergy.
Brian Krock – Liddle (Outside In Music)
The latest effort of Brian Krock is presented to us under the name Liddle. Brian led one of last year’s favourite releases, Big Heart Machine, and you’ll find a similarly engrossing experience listening to this album. While Big Heart Machine was a large ensemble performance, Brian restricts himself to a mere sextet on Liddle. This leads to some really creative writing, and I’d love to hear even more constraints on his writings—for example with compositions for a trio—in the future. For now, though, Liddle is an amazing piece of work that’s superb, original, and intensely fascinating.
Drumming Cellist – Abraxas
I already complained about the name for that project, so let’s skip straight to the actual music. On Abraxas, Kristijan Krajnčan’s solo effort, there are two instruments in the spotlight: drums, and cello. Other ones come and go, like harpsichord on track 10, and some vocal performance here and there, whistling on track 2, but those two are at the core of the album; they’re what the project’s named after, after all. I’ve got to say I was impressed by Kristijan’s proficiency and mastery of both instruments. The first complete composition, “Floating Sand (from the Seabed, Our Homeland)”, fully demonstrates the extent of his ability. Energetic and driving, this song features a wide range of techniques of composition and performance. The rest of the album is just full of the same—but different—utterly enjoyable content. A stellar discovery!
ナボワ (Nabowa) – Dusk
Dusk is the latest album of ナボワ (Nabowa). The Japanese group offers us some quite romantic modern jazz fusion with a certain likeness to some math rock artists. One of the highlights of the group is their full-time violin player, who adds a tremendous amount of emotion to the already-furnished set. The quartet plays quite tastefully and never indulges in excess or vanity, this makes Dusk a brilliant and stellar album that’s as good an active as a passive listening experience. A great record, indeed!