Foxy Digitalis Mix Season 2, #2: Charlatan

I’ve been wanting to make some kind of mix for the site for a while after having such a blast collaborating on the Halloween and Xmas mixes, so starting the year off with some Charlatan action on Foxy Digitalis feels right. After numerous stops and starts, I finally settled on a mix of one instrument/solo performance (mostly) pieces. There’s a little wiggle room, of course … Continue reading Foxy Digitalis Mix Season 2, #2: Charlatan

Ava Mendoza “New Spells”

Cassette available via Astral Spirits / CD available via Relative Pitch. I know I keep repeating myself, but what a year it’s been for solo(ish) guitar albums. Just when I thought all the barn burners had been launched, Ava Mendoza drops one last bomb on 2021 with New Spells. I’ve been excited about this one for a while, especially since Mendoza shredded to heaven on William … Continue reading Ava Mendoza “New Spells”

Video Premiere: Luke Stewart “Works For Upright Bass and Amplifier Vol. 2”

When I first heard Luke Stewart’s Works For Upright Bass and Amplifier Vol. 1 a couple years ago, it took me a while to really get my head around it. The work he creates in this context is not only cathartic but deeply introspective as well. Tonal movements find empty spaces to scythe the air at full flex, hacking down decayed boundaries that surround us. With Vol. 2, … Continue reading Video Premiere: Luke Stewart “Works For Upright Bass and Amplifier Vol. 2”

Artifacts “…and then there’s this”

I already wrote quite a bit about this trio of Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, and Mike Reed when Foxy Digitalis premiered “Soprano Song,” but with as much as I’ve listened to and dug into …and then there’s this, I could write a book. Every time I listen, though, I come back to the AACM’s (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music) motto, “Ancient to the Future.” … Continue reading Artifacts “…and then there’s this”

Track Premiere: Artifacts “Soprano Song”

The combined prowess of Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, and Mike Reed is something to marvel. All three are gifted players and innovative, inspirational composers. As Artifacts, the trio comes together in joyous, virtuosic fashion on original compositions plus one each by Roscoe Mitchell and, “Soprano Song,” a choice Muhal Richard Abrams cut.  Abrams was a legendary figure whose influence and inspiration will continue for generations … Continue reading Track Premiere: Artifacts “Soprano Song”

Thollem Gets Back on Stage

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on so many artists the past 18 months, but when everything began shutting down, Thollem McDonas was at the front of my mind. McDonas is the traveling musician, having crossed the country (and world!) countless times to perform, speak, record, collaborate, and everything else in between. Sidelined since March 2020, Thollem and his wife, Angela, headed back out on the … Continue reading Thollem Gets Back on Stage

Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall 7”

When it comes to Swedish duos, Gustafsson and Nordwall are near the top of the heap for me. On this collaborative 7”, electronics and saxophone combine for a twisted trip. The A-Side, “Shadows of Tomorrow,” squelches and squirts through veins, traversing through the body looking for any kind of exit point. Nordwall’s minimalist static-infused waves fit neatly in the tiny sonic spaces Gustafsson’s unending, scattered-to-the-wind … Continue reading Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall 7”

Thollem’s Astral Traveling Sessions – Thollem / Nik Francis

When Astral Spirits announced this year-long series documenting some of Thollem McDonas’s collaborative recordings made in the last few years, I was immediately intrigued. As the series has unfolded the list of collaborators has grown to include the likes of Susan Alcorn, Tatsuya Nakatani, John Dieterich, and so many others, that initial excitement has been rewarded. This recent edition with percussionist Nik Francis, though, is … Continue reading Thollem’s Astral Traveling Sessions – Thollem / Nik Francis

Astral Spirits’ Expanding Universe

An interview with Astral Spirits founder, Nate Cross, on origins, current projects, and using your platform. Astral Spirits has become one of the most recognizable labels in the world of experimental jazz and improvised music. Since starting it in 2014, founder Nate Cross has pushed boundaries and expanded his offerings with the Astral Editions label. Cross is someone after my own heart, always looking forward and trying to figure how … Continue reading Astral Spirits’ Expanding Universe

The Countless Worlds of Colin Fisher

Thoughts on his new album, Daniel Carter, collaboration, and more. Toronto’s Colin Fisher doesn’t seem to ever stop. When you dig through his maze-like discography, there’s a huge assortment of solo works, collaborative releases, ensemble pieces and just about anything else in between. His ability to jump between a variety of instruments – saxophone, guitar, drums, and well beyond – adds not just to his versatility, but … Continue reading The Countless Worlds of Colin Fisher