Lina Allemano Four. Vegetables. The Toronto-based Lina Allemano Four—the experienced musical chefs who sauté the ingredients in this six-course musical feast—have been cooking on trumpeter Allemano’s originals since 2005. Alongside her gritty and dulcet trumpet textures are reed garnishes from[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Dominique Fils-Aimé. Three Little Words. In 2018 Montreal-based jazz artist Dominique Fils-Aimé released the first album of a trilogy exploring the shifting genres and experiences of African-American history and culture. The blues-inspired Nameless explored African sounds that morphed into the blues during enslavement. The[...] Read more

Recordings Chaka V. Grier

Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell. How To Turn The Moon. How to Turn The Moon is a trip. This fresh duo album from New York avant-garde heavy-hitters Angelica Sanchez and Marilyn Crispell takes two pianos to expansive and unexpected places. The potential for sonic deluge in the pairing of similar instruments is magnified by the piano’s[...] Read more

Recordings Jennifer Thiessen Issue 138

LAL. Meteors Could Come Down. Since the release of their 2000 debut record Corners, Toronto-based electronic duo LAL have become known both for their songs celebrating resistance and community and for their unwillingness to be placed in a neat box by the mainstream Canadian music industry. While these same notions loom[...] Read more

Recordings Max Mertens Issue 138

Saman Shahi. Breathing in the Shadows. Iranian-Canadian composer Saman Shahi is full of surprises. He writes music for anything from films to electric guitars, makes rock fusion music, and directs concert bands. On Breathing in the Shadows, his debut album, he pulls yet another compositional style from his massive toolkit in[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 138

Kind Mind. Kind Mind. Near the end of the eighteenth century, the German theorist Friedrich Schlegel proposed the fragment as an emergent refashioning of the form of criticism. Inherent to the short form of the fragment was a questioning of wholeness: for Schlegel, the fragment was not a recovered piece of some[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 138

JunctQín Keyboard Collective. reTHiNK. On reTHiNK, JunctQín Keyboard Collective presents an eclectic collection of piano compositions new and old that vibrantly showcases their broad range. While this trio, comprising Elaine Lau, Joseph Ferretti, and Stephanie Chua, has been performing together for more than a decade,[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 138

Sarah Davachi. Cantus, Descant. Late Music, LMICD. Sarah Davachi strives to bridge the ancient and the contemporary. Her 2015 debut, Barons Court, built drones from analog synths and her harmonium, along with guest oboe, flute, viola, and cellos. On her eighth full-length album, she performs alone with a series of formidable “partners[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 138

Luciane Cardassi. Going North. There is a moment on “Wonder,” the third piece performed by Luciane Cardassi on her new album, Going North, when the Brazilian-Canadian pianist recites a particularly poignant verse: “The soul looks around, hoping to get a glimpse of its origin.” This extract from a[...] Read more

Recordings Griffin Martell Issue 138

Olivier Alary and Johannes Malfatti. u,i. If you were asked to choose a record to capture the spirit of 2020, you might make a compelling case for u,i, a new album by composers Olivier Alary (Montreal) and Johannes Malfatti (Berlin). The collaboration is an emotive and yearning exploration of distance, recorded using VOIP (voice[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 138

Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis. Blood Moon. One thing that might be said about any great ensemble of improvisers is that any subgrouping of members might be isolated and seen as a core. That’s arguably the nature of music built from improvisation, at least when done well: paradoxically, the elements stand alone by leaning on[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 137

Maria Schneider Orchestra. Data Lords. I am finding myself irresistibly drawn to the dark side. Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider’s latest release posits a Manichaean struggle characterized as a struggle between the seductive but alarmingly fast-growing digital kingdoms Google and Facebook and the healing but[...] Read more

Recordings Alexander Varty