Zoh Amba – Bhakti (Mahakala Music, 2022) ~ The Free Jazz Collective

By Martin Schray In a short documentary, Zoh Amba says that she thought music was an escape from the world, but she realized that it was rather a gateway to a universe of beauty. With it, she says, she can create a world of friends and sunshine, even when the circumstances around you aren’t the … Read more

Discover Camille Émaille ~ The Free Jazz Collective

Camille Émaille. Photo by Peter Rabenda By Martin Schray The story has already been told a few times: when Peter Brötzmann belatedly celebrated his 80th birthday with a concert weekend at Café Ada in his hometown of Wuppertal, he invited many of the usual suspects who have accompanied him throughout his musical life – Hamid … Read more

Pharoah Sanders (1941 – 2022) ~ The Free Jazz Collective

Pharoah Sanders. Photo from his website By Martin Schray At the tender age of 25, Pharoah Sanders experienced the greatest honor that jazz had to offer in the 1960s: The great John Coltrane took him into his band and shaped him forever with his concept of a spiritual free jazz. In interviews, however, Sanders honestly … Read more

The Bad Plus – The Bad Plus (Edition Records, 2022) ~ The Free Jazz Collective

By Sammy Stein American quartet, The Bad Plus comprises bass player Reid Anderson, drummer David King, guitarist Ben Monder and tenor saxophonist Chris Speed. Relaunching as a quartet (previously a trio with several changes in personnel around the founders Anderson and King), The Bad Plus is still delivering dynamic, ever-evolving music. Twenty-one years after their … Read more

Stephen Gauci Post-Lockdown Round-Up ~ The Free Jazz Collective

By Nick Ostrum Stephen Gauci is a fiery and tireless Brooklyn-based saxophonist. Locally, he is likely most recognized as the curator and frequent performer in the Bushwick Improvised Music Series. Despite such activities, he is also a frequent traveler, touring across the US and Europe and cutting a few stellar live albums in the process. … Read more

Archival Downtown, Part Two ~ The Free Jazz Collective

Andrea Centazzo, John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Toshinori Kondo, Polly Bradfield, and Tom Cora – Environment for Sextet (Remastered From Original Tape Reels) (Ictus, 2022) John Zorn’s Olympiad – Vol. 2 Fencing 1978 (Tzadik, 2022) George Cartwright, John Zorn, Polly Bradfield, and Charlie Noyes – Inroads 6/25/1982 (self-released, 2021) By Lee Rice Epstein For many years, … Read more

Solo sax – Steve Lacy’s Book for Practicioners H, W and P

By Steve Gijssels Intended initially for his own practice, Lacy wrote three books of etudes, comprising six pieces each. He only recorded the first such collection, Book Hwritten in winter and fall of 1983 (released as “Hocus Pocus—Book ‘H’ of ‘Practiceers(Crépuscule, 1986)). In the late fall of that year he wrote Book W and then, … Read more

Solo Sax – The Overview II ~ The Free Jazz Collective

By Steve Gijssels One more overview of solo sax albums, in random order, but we start again with a female saxophone player. Catherine Sikora – Corners (Self, 2021) I have once been in the situation that I was the only member of the audience when a free improv trio was expected to perform. Something must … Read more

Pat Thomas & XT (Seymour Wright, Paul Abbott) with Will Holder

By Lee Rice Epstein Edwin (Eddie) Prévost recently wrote, “The personality, and quirkiness, of a jazz artist is an indicator. Just, jazz has become, in recent decades, formalised, there are now subtle, insidious, prescribed approaches on offer. Jazz has become more codified, and commodified: even if clothed within an artificial narrative of modernity… Certainly, it … Read more

A L’arme Festival Vol. 10 (Part 2 of 2) ~ The Free Jazz Collective

By Paul Acquaro My first visit to A L’arme was for it’s second installment in 2013 when I was still bedazzled by the shaggy chic of Berlin. It was there that I met up with my Free Jazz Blog colleague Martin Schray for the first of many times at the festival and took in the … Read more