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Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Two Bremen concerts by groups led by bassist and composer Charles Mingus in 1964 and 1975 remind us of the longevity and vitality of his brilliance.


Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.


Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish Replace Form with Risk on 'Interactivity'

The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.


Sax Player Rudresh Mahanthappa Channels Charlie Parker's Super Powers

On the release of his latest, Hero Trio, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa records his first session of covers, playing jazz standards and hip-pop with a fabulous trio featuring bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston.


Threadbare Elevate Rock and Jazz on the Complex 'Silver Dollar'

Atonal free jazz trio Threadbare use unique instrumentation and a love of multiple musical styles on their fascinating new album, Silver Dollar.


Matthew Shipp's 'The Piano Equation' Will Stand the Test of Time

Matthew Shipp's The Piano Equation is a fully improvised solo piano recital to stand the test of time, sitting in the realm where mathematics and magic collide.


Markus Floats Creates a Warm Space That Never Dallies in One Place for Long

Third Album reflects experimental electronic artist Markus Floats' belief that music isn't just something one does. It's a life one leads, so each release is an excerpted component of an ongoing and all-encompassing journey.


The Sun Ra Arkestra Brings Interplanetary Music to San Francisco

Led by 95-year-old saxophonist Marshall Allen, the longest running band in jazz delivers a transcendent four-night run at the SFJazz Center.


Jazz-Rock's Red Kite Deliver Grooves and Drones in Equal Measure on Debut

Their fuzzed-out sonic signature might not be for everyone, but for adventurous listeners, Red Kite specialize in a fusion of music blending the complexity of Ornette Coleman with the heaviness of Black Sabbath.


Space Is Still the Place for Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra

Ninety-five-year-old saxophonist Marshall Allen continues to lead Sun Ra's legendary jazz ensemble through the turbulent present and toward a better future for mankind.


Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society Produce a Minimalist Opus

Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society return with their new full-length, Mandatory Reality, aptly navigating the space between jazz and experimental music.


Mark Dresser Seven: Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup and You

Jazz bassist Mark Dresser's latest, Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You, is a New Jazz blend of daring improvisation and challenging composition.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

A wildly revised version of this venerable creative music ensemble makes a clean, beautiful new recording in the studio and live, with fresh music from Roscoe Mitchell and an argument that the original Art Ensemble of Chicago had everything to do with today's New Jazz.


Mediations of Life Shine Brightly on Rajna Swaminathan's Brilliant Debut Album

An Indian jazz fusion album introduces a vital new voice to the scene with Rajna Swaminathan's debut, Of Agency and Abstraction.


Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions

An exploratory few sessions from late in Eric Dolphy's life show him expanding in both expansive and intimate ways.


Here's Four Powerhouse Musicians and a Holy Ghost on 'Mudang Rock'

Guitarist extraordinaire Henry Kaiser assembles a crack band based around Simon Barker's Korean rhythmic skills.


Robbie Lee and Mary Halvorson Find an Old, New Weirdness on 'Seed Triangular'

Nearly every track on Robbie Lee and Mary Halvorson's Seed Triangular surprises, and if the disc fails to cohere, the pleasure of hearing the two artists figure out what they're doing remains.


Behold, Two Reasons Why Henry Threadgill Is One of the Greatest at What He Does

There are jazz musicians and there are composers. And then there's Henry Threadgill. Fans of the Pulitzer-winning composer now have 86 minutes of new music into which to dive.


2018 Belongs to Matthew Shipp

The fearless pianist drops two albums on ESP-Disk... for starters.


Dan Weiss Forms His Dream Band to Play His Nightmare Music

Dan Weiss' Starebaby is both terrifying and thoughtful. The balance it achieves might be even more terrifying.


Mary Halvorson Continues Her Expansive Explorations with 'Code Girl'

Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson offers as much encryption as she does revelation on her latest album.


Dave Liebman on Sax + Two Drummers = Free Jazz Without the Jazz

Adam Rudolph, Dave Liebman, and Tatsuya Nakatani have summoned the appropriate named Unknowable.


Dark and Deep Flows the River: An Interview with Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith's sprawling, ambitious musical tribute to the National Parks is a living, breathing work that flows and changes by the performers involved. It's heady, powerful stuff, sustained by a dream list of collaborators.

Justin Cober-Lake

Roswell Rudd/Fay Victor/Lafayette Harris/Ken Filiano: Embrace

Roswell Rudd, ailing from cancer at 82, releases a loving quartet record of standards with collaborators as distinctive as he is.


Wadada Leo Smith: Solo - Reflections and Meditations on Monk

The everywhere-at-once trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith goes it alone, alternating Monk tunes and Monk-inspired originals for solo trumpet. S L O W.


Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

Wadada Leo Smith mixes it up with a psychedelic group of electric power that remains spare: four electric guitars, Bill Laswell's electric bass, drums, and percussion. It sounds like a party and a whisper in alternation.


Jay Clayton and Kirk Nurock: Unraveling Emily

Balancing traditional and avant-garde elements of jazz, Jay Clayton and Kirk Nurock deconstruct the poetry of Emily Dickinson.


Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo Pak Coalition: Agrima

The second recording by alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his Indo-Pak Coalition goes beyond South-Asian/Jazz fusion, incorporating drums, electronics, and a greater sense of power and adventure.


Counterbalance: Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch!

The most accessible avant-garde album ever, or the most avant-garde mainstream jazz album ever? From 1964, something sweet, something tender is this week’s Counterbalance -- straight up and down.


Annette Peacock - "Sky-skating" (1982)

The jazz world's most peculiar inhabitant has made some of the most profound music that has served to recontruct both the borders of rock and jazz -- and our ideas of how music can evolve and be defined.


Henry Threadgill Zooid: This Brings Us To, Volume II

Lots of people can buck tradition, but avant-garde savior Henry Threadgill came up with a whole new system.

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