Author Archives: Ed Howard

evan parker / derek bailey / han bennink | the topography of the lungs (1970)

The Topography of the Lungs is one of the crucial early documents of European free improvisation. Recorded in July 1970, this lively, inventive trio record introduced a decade in which European free jazz would increasingly splinter from its American progenitors, … Continue reading

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max neuhaus / john cage | fontana mix-feed (1966)

Technically, this LP consists of four realizations of John Cage’s 1958 Fontana Mix, an indeterminate graphic score originally intended to be used for a tape piece, with or without additional instruments. To say that, though, is not really to capture … Continue reading

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fraufraulein | extinguishment (2015)

Anne Guthrie and Billy Gomberg have been playing together as Fraufraulein for years now, and have recorded a number of albums, but this is my first encounter with the duo. Guthrie is a French horn player, Gomberg plays bass guitar, … Continue reading

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radu malfatti | one man and a fly (2015)

Radu Malfatti has covered a fair bit of ground over the years, from his early post-jazz/free improv playing to his ’90s reinvention as a Wandelweiser composer to his various collaborations with Mattin, Keith Rowe, and many others. One thing he’s … Continue reading

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richard abrams | levels and degrees of light (1967)

Muhal Richards Abrams has always been a key figure for the AACM. One of the Chicago-based group’s co-founders, he was also a mentor and inspiration for many of the city’s younger musicians in the ’60s and beyond. Levels and Degrees … Continue reading

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joseph jarman | song for (1966)

Following Roscoe Mitchell’s Sound, alto saxophonist Joseph Jarman was the second AACM member to enter the studio with Delmark Records’ Chuck Nessa, emerging with Song For, his own contribution to the collective’s early legacy. Jarman’s band, as captured here, was … Continue reading

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roscoe mitchell sextet | sound (1966)

Sound was, and is, a tremendously important recording. It was the first document of the then-young Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), among the first recorded appearances for most of these musicians, and a first step towards the … Continue reading

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musica elettronica viva | friday (1969)

Musica Elettronica Viva was an odd and amorphous group whose vision of collective free improvisation, like that of their British peers AMM, presaged many of the developments of avant music in the ’70s and beyond. The group’s membership shifted constantly … Continue reading

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anthony braxton | 3 compositions of new jazz (1968)

Anthony Braxton’s debut LP introduced an unconventional, often controversial new talent whose career – spanning decades and still going, without nearly enough attention, today – has been one of the most fascinating in jazz. At the time this was recorded, Braxton was … Continue reading

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marc baron | hidden tapes (2014)

Marc Baron has entirely remade himself as a musician over the last few years. Once an improvising saxophonist, his uncompromising 2012 solo album ∩ caught him at what must have been the end of a transitional period. A resolutely abstract and … Continue reading

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