Big Heart Machine – Big Heart Machine

The Music

The Words

I’ve been waiting on this release for as long as it has been announced (or very nearly so), but, when it was finally released, it was impossible for me to listen to it attentively and, thus, prepare a short review before the month’s end. It is doubtless that I can say that Big Heart Machine would’ve made it in August’s monthly recommendations, but you’ll have to be content with this belated, overdue one.

Big Heart Machine is the eighteen-piece big band under the baton of Miho Hazama and the production of Darcy James Argue, another Read more

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Kurushimi Feigns Ignorance on What Is Chaos?

Sydney’s improvisation grind-jazz ensemble Kurushimi—or 苦しみ—is a strong musical statement since their self-titled debut in 2016, which I pretty much adored. Whether you call it directed improvisation or a musical game, they fear nothing and owe nothing to anyone.

With What Is Chaos?, the act sees Andrew Mortensen at the helm, and a revolving (and impressive) set of improvisers on their respective instrument. In over an hour of new music, they make hints to many respected and beloved (and sometimes obscure) musicians; from John Zorn to the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble to even … Read more

Peter Evans & Weasel Walter – Poisonous

The Music

The Words

Poisonous indeed, the newest release from free, avant-garde jazz duo Peter Evans & Weasel Walter is a journey into the delirious mind of a poison-afflicted would-be mycologist. In forty-four minutes, the two seasoned musicians craft an album obsessed with venenous fungi that sounds as lethal as its subject. I don’t know how many layers of improvised or forethought material have been arranged to create this fever dream, but the result is a dense hallucinative soundscape as heard through thick forest haze.

Some parts are almost metal in just how harsh and intense they are–see “Sulfur Tuft”. … Read more

Haolin Munk – Planestasia Suite

The Music

The Words

Jazz and hip hop are two proximate worlds, but it’s a rare treat to see them interconnect. Fortunately, Ontario, Canada’s Haolin Munk quartet is here to settle the score. In what sounds like a softer version of Montréal’s New Apple Taste, without the noise and the rock, their science-fiction concept album – who else gets hints of Clipping.? – is an astonishing jazz fusion release filled with tasty grooves, decadent solo sections, and an overall spotless arrangement work.

Since the Haolin Munk quartet is an instrumental entity, each vocal track exists thanks to the help of … Read more

Théo Ceccaldi’s Freaks – Amanda Dakota

The Music

The Words

Théo Ceccaldi is now a renowned jazz violinist, and he is now at the heads of Freaks, an experimental jazz sextet that bridges jazz-rock with avant-garde pop and Rock in Opposition. Indeed, it sometimes sound like a jazz version of French band PoiL, which is a major plus!

What can you expect from their debut, Amanda Dakota? First of all, a lot of odd themes and harmonies are sown all around the album, and the rhythm section tries to clumsily follow in odd times and bizarre subdivisions. This is something that I like a … Read more