Eave – Eave

The Music

The Words

Montréal’s Eave is a surprising new minimalistic free jazz quartet. They just delivered their self-titled debut album, and it’s a thing of wonders! Eave is strong by its meekness. It isn’t overtly boastful, and is of the discreet type. However, the reserved are often the most incongruous. As such, Eave paint the most disturbing scenes using very few and pale colours. It is free jazz done differently than what I’m used to. With bands like dMu, Nakata, or Waifu, I’m used to the horrid, the loud, and the terrifying; Eave brings me the calm, the odd, … Read more

John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble – All Can Work

The Music

The Words

Twenty-one. That’s how many people play in this so-called “large ensemble”. This jazz orchestra is noticeable in many regards, but the most important of which is their musical output. All Can Work came out on January 26, and it represents over an hour of amazingly well put together modern jazz compositions that often remind me of some of the best prog rock out there. I’ve got to say this might be due to Theo Bleckmann’s voice, which is perhaps the most reassuring thing in this quite avant-garde environment. While the aim of the work here is … Read more

Kami Octet – Spring Party

The Music

The Words

We truly are well treated in this early 2018. So much great music has been knocking on my eardrums that it’s difficult to keep track. Although a late 2017 release, France’s Kami Octet, an avant-garde jazz eight-member ensemble, and their album Spring Party, was only just now heard by yours truly. The release is an adventurous and thorough experiment on contemporary jazz, sharing similarities with Fire! Orchestra and other such modern artists like Jaimie Branch. I’ve noticed the former mainly due to the vocal eccentricities of Christine Bertocchi, who at times recall moments of … Read more

Death Drag – Shifted

The Sounds

The Words

Iluso has a great track record for providing us with some of the wildest, most adventurous jazz albums out there. I think I’ve become acquainted with the label through dMu’s Synaptic Self, which was a true revelation to me! Today, they’re back with Death Drag‘s debut album, Shifted.

Shifted is like a free jazz album built with the tools of noise metal. The trio consists of drummer and composer Mike Caratti, aided by Santiago Horro on heavily distorted bass guitar, Roberto Sassi on guitar, and Luke Barlow, who plays keyboards and Rhodes. Each … Read more

Garrett Wingfield’s Octopod – Monoliths and Sepulchres

The Music

The Thoughts

For full disclosure, yes, I’ve backed this project on indiegogo. Nonetheless, I think this album is a really awesome one! Monoliths and Sepulchres is the debut full-length from Denton, Texas-based experimental jazz unit The Octopod. The aptly-named Octopod features eight musicians, including three horn-blowers (correction: five). As such, their music is heavily textured and rich. The album moves from free jazz during the prelude, postlude, and interludes to composed scores in the main tracks. Consequently, the result is a highly aberrant album that’s nonetheless a more than recommended listen. Its theme is to grow progressively … Read more