Ken Waxman

Gordon Grdina. Oddly Enough: The Music of Tim Berne. During COVID-19 lockdowns, Brooklyn-based Tim Berne began sending idiosyncratic compositions to Vancouver guitarist Gordon Grdina. As soon as one of the interpretations was recorded and emailed back, Berne dispatched another. This back-and-forth continued for a year until enough music was[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 143

Double Review: Joane Hétu. Tags; Ensemble SuperMusique. Sonne l’image. Joane Hétu is the codirector of Montreal’s Ensemble SuperMusique (ESM), but that doesn’t mean she overloads the contemporary ensemble with her own works. She also composes for others. Each of these wide-ranging recordings contains only one Hétu–ESM[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 142

René Lussier, Érick d’Orion, Robbie Kuster, and Martin Tétreault. Printemps 2021. A notable blend of noise and nuance, this Québécois quartet soars through seven live improvisations without ever fraying the sonic thread that holds them together. Veterans in this context, René Lussier (guitar and daxophone) and Robbie Kuster (drums) add just enough[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 141

Gordon Grdina and Jim Black. Martian Kitties. Canadian Gordon Grdina and American Jim Black cannily invest this album’s thirteen tracks with multiple textures from two instruments each: Grdina playing guitar and oud, and Black using drums and electronics. The augmentation doesn’t follow the expected course though, with the[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 141

Ocelot. Ocelot. A program of carefully assembled small-group jazz and improv, Ocelot, the eponymous debut from the new trio Ocelot, features playing and composing by British-born reedist Yuma Uesaka, Vancouver pianist Cat Toren, and American percussionist Colin Hinton. Throughout, the near-gossamer sheen of[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 139

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

ITACA 4et. Vortex. Reflecting the breezy looseness of Vancouver, the city in which it was recorded, Vortex by the ITACA 4et moves with the lightness and ebullience of cool West Coast jazz, with jagged sonic shoals just beneath the surface. Formed in 2016, ITACA 4et comprises two Canadians, clarinetist Fran[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Rob Clutton with Tony Malaby. Offering. Bolstering his skills as an improviser and composer, Toronto bassist Rob Clutton reconstitutes some of his previously recorded improvisations as notated kernels for this program with New York saxophonist Tony Malaby. No rote recapitulations here, those themes and others are stretched and[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Nick Fraser, Kris Davis, Tony Malaby. Zoning. On half of Zoning’s six tracks, Toronto drummer Nick Fraser, Canadian-in-Brooklyn pianist Kris Davis, and New York saxophonist Tony Malaby are joined by German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Toronto-Berlin trumpeter Lina Allemano. This Toronto-recorded session is effective with both[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 135

Harris Eisenstadt. Old Growth Forest II; The Fictive Five. Anything is Possible. Creative and cooperative (or should we just say, Canadian?), Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt has, for the past fifteen years, attracted attention as a sophisticated bandleader and band member. On his latest recording, the disciplined Old Growth Forest II, Eisenstadt[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 134

François Carrier / Michel Lambert / John Edwards. Elements. Montreal alto saxophonist François Carrier continues to expose his universalist free jazz as widely as possible, recording the extended tracks on Elements at concerts in London and Krakow. While the sonic flow appears almost unstoppable in intensity and inspiration, Carrier is no[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 133

Yuko Fujiyama. Night Wave. On this new recording, Japanese-born pianist Yuko Fujiyama has created fifteen musical colour fields in duo, trio, and quartet configurations alongside sympathetic American associates Jennifer Choi (violin), Susie Ibarra (drums and percussion), and Graham Haynes (cornet and flugelhorn).[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 131