That hotbed of avant garde jazz, Lithuania, boasts of the label No Business Records. Defiantly experimental and free, this company releases albums in limited editions of usually 300 copies of music that is spontaneous and experimental. Hang on tight!
Upright bassist Mark Dresser puts together seven compositions that go from deep bows as on the rich “Threaded” to pizzicato pulses on the lute-like “Modicana Panettiere.” He’s bluesy on the percussive “Hobby Lobby Horse” and gives a sonata reflection during the thoughtful “Modicana Teatro Greco.” Rewarding meditations.
Liudas Mockunas plays clarinet, soprano and tenor sax and a “water prepared soprano” for eleven spontaneous experiments with reeds and mouthpieces. Even for a clarinet-soprano saxist like myself, it’s very difficult to tell where one ends and one begins pieces such as “Hydration Suite Part 1” and “Part 3” consist of mostly squeals and squawks that make the comparison moot. Reedy fluffs and playing with the pads to create a clicking sound are prevalent during “Part 6” and “Part 5” while hints of a train whistle clears the tracks on “Rehydration” Part 3.” Mouthpiece madness!
The trio of saxist Yedo Gibson, bassist Hernani Faustino and drummer Vasco Trilla create a frantic collection of fiery originals. Gibson uses his sax pads for percussion on the festive “Gear” while creating fuzzy long tones on the spacey “Lock.” The trio gets frantic on the hypermobile “Mesh” and screeches hard enough to wear out the brake pads on “Axis.” A real white knuckler here.
Just three songs make up the material for Midori Takada/perc-mar, Kang Tae Hwan/as and Masahiko Satoh/p for their Prophecy of Hue album, so each piece is quite a journey. The title track mixes a foray of cymbals with spacious piano and cries of the alto all taking turns vying for attention for 22 minutes. The 17 minute “Manifestation” features honking and moaning sax over a long undulating pulse, with tones akin to a trash can cover supply the framework for Satoh’s meditative piano and Hwan’s breathy alto on “Incantation.” Avant ambience?
Performed by the Mivos String Quartet, Harris Eisenstadt’s Whatever Will Happen…is a four movement piece that includes dashes of East Asian tonalities and sweet strides as on “Movement IV” as well as sounds like bagpipes on the sonata-like “Movement III.” Jabs and swats take place on “Movement II” while high pitches and jagged edges predominate the melodious “Movement I.” Bartok through a prism.
Andrew Lamb’s tenor sax teams with percussionists Warren Smith and Arkadijus Cotesmanas for three marathon runs. Percussion percolation dominates the journey on the title track, with Lamb swiriling and crying on “Kindred Spirits.” Shrieks from the tenor sax visceral cry out with cymbals and drums holding things intact on “The Angel of Lithuania.” Percussion discussion.
Legendary cornetist Bobby Bradford teams with bassist Ken Filiano, drummer Royal Hartigan and tenor saxist Hafez Modirzadeh for a flowing and expressive concert in Massachusetts. Bradford’s horn is sugar sweet and melds well with the breathy tenor on the flowing “She” and the leader gets spacious on his cornet with some lively tenor work on “”Bayraktar.’ Hartigan creates a rich cadence on “Ashes” and the team rustles restlessly for the lurking “Wadsworth.” Creative and still coherent.