Please donate to help save PopMatters. We are moving to WordPress in December out of necessity and need your help.

Experimentalist David Grubbs Documents a Live Set with '​October 19, 2017'

David Grubbs' October 19, 2017 is a live LP released online that showcases a 32-minute solo set to mark the release of that year's Creep Mission LP. It's nothing short of magical.


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.


'Underground London' Dazzles with Its Scope and Anti-Establishment Music

Cherry Red issues a gargantuan collection of anti-establishment music associated with the 1960s London counterculture, a movement which challenged the norms and conventions of mainstream society by drinking from the well of psychedelia, free jazz, Beat poetry, musique concrete, electronics, and minimalism.


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.


Dumama and Kechou Explore Folk, Dub and Free Jazz on the Splendid 'Buffering Juju'

Folklore, dub, and free jazz unite in Dumama and Kechou's new concept album, Buffering Juju. The duo confront the past and the present, taking on not only legacies of pain, but legacies of thriving through it.


OOIOO Blast Out of Lengthy Hiatus with Brash and Beautifully Unpredictable 'nijimusi'

Revered experimental Japanese noise/punk/jazz band, OOIOO are back with a typically intense and brilliant new album, nijimusi.


Whit Dickey's 'Tao Quartets' Pose Key Questions About Improvised Music

Veteran drummer from New York's creative music scene, Whit Dickey combines two quartets that pose so many of the key questions about purely improvised music.


William Parker Swings and Plays on Jazz's Edge with 'Live/Shapeshifter'

On Live/Shapeshifter, William Parker goes way back to Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus in muscular swing and melodic grace while still seeming to play out on the edge.


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.


The Dust Blows Forward: 'Trout Mask Replica' at 50

In 1969, the deeply strange musician known as Captain Beefheart released an album that is still ahead of its time a half-century later. PopMatters spoke with musicians and writers about this landmark work of art and why it continues to fascinate.


Jazz Saxophonist Jeremy Udden Gets Back to Basics with the Visceral 'Three in Paris'

Highly accomplished jazz saxophonist Jeremy Udden reins in his multitude of musical talents with an intimate trio recording, Three in Paris.


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.


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.


Sick Gazelle Issues Haunting, Improvisational LP, 'Odum' (album stream) (premiere)

Featuring Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), and Eric Block (Veloce), Sick Gazelle's Odum is the result of a meditative hour-long improvisation in a Chicago recording studio.


Harriet Tubman's Music Bends Off Into Unpredictable Directions on 'The Terror End of Beauty'

Instrumentally dazzling but sonically muddled, Harriet Tubman's The Terror End of Beauty is a mixed bag of genre-resistant instrumentals.


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.


Maurice Louca Returns with a Record of Cosmic Jazz Exploration

On Elephantine, Egyptian artist Maurice Louca leaves behind electronic motifs and rediscovers the unyielding power of free jazz improvisation and the mystical sense of the Arabic musical tradition.


Whose Hat Is This? Returns With Taste of Second LP, "chomp-chomp-chomp-Love" (premiere)

Tedeschi Trucks Band members step out as Whose Hat Is This? for their sophomore release, Everything's OK, and explore brotherhood, playfulness, and the outer reaches of the avant-garde.


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.


Experimental Collective the End Comes Into Full Form with Debut Album

Led by legendary saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Norwegian saxophonist Kjetil Møster, the End becomes a complete improvisational act that unleashes a furious offering enshrouded in a dystopian manifestation.


Jazz's William Parker Creates an Album of a Lifetime... Again with 'Voices Fall from the Sky'

In a career full of lofty goals and incredible highs, William Parker has once again sculpted an album that will stand apart from the pack through beauty alone.


Avant Hip-hop Outfit the Young Mothers Deliver "Attica Black" (premiere)

Ex-White Denim, Free Radicals, Shape of Broad Minds members team of up as the Young Mothers for an unbridled track from new LP, Morose.

Jedd Beaudoin

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.


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.


Relisten Without Prejudice to Yoko Ono's 'Plastic Ono Band'

Americans in the '70s would not accommodate a female Japanese performer of experimental music that is designed to provoke. Have we grown since then?


John Surman's 'Invisible Threads' Is Music for Quiet Spaces

John Surman's trio create a space where a listener can drift along without getting tired. There's an energy to the playing that lifts one into a pleasant state and a good-humor to the enterprise as a whole.


CID RIM's Electronic Music on 'Material' Feels Rooted in Performance

CID RIM may be working in an electronic medium, but the sound feels like performance, far more than it feels like programming.


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.


Ivo Perelman: Philosophers Stone / Octagon / Heptagon / Scalene / Live in Baltimore / Live in Brussels

The prolific, free-blowing tenor saxophonists releases six recordings at once, including two live sets, that demonstrate (again) his ability to invent in the moment with collaborators of all kinds.


Merzbow, Gustafsson, Pándi, Moore: Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper

A stunningly ferocious noise album from four masters of their craft.


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.


Zongo Junction: No Discount

It's not surprising to see free jazz credited alongside Fela Kuti as one of the group's inspirations.


The Thing: BOOT!

We've taken the talents of the Thing for granted too long. Prepare to face the BOOT!

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.