Kurt Gottschalk

Kris Davis. Diatom Ribbons Live at the Village Vanguard. Kris Davis’s 2019 album Diatom Ribbons was a giant step forward in the Canadian pianist’s discography, if not in the continued integration of electronics and turntables with jazz. She’s hardly been quiet since then. A duo with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, a second album from[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 147

Satoko Fujii & Otomo Yoshihide. Perpetual Motion. Satoko Fujii. Hyaku, One Hundred Dreams The pandemic was a productive time for the ever-prolific pianist Satoko Fujii. Along with her venture into virtual recording—most notably in some remarkable long-distance duets with the Berlin-based vibraphonist Taiko Saito—Fujii released a surprising pair of albums simply titled[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 145

TAK Ensemble. Love, Crystal and Stone The terms vanity label or vanity press can carry a connotation of indulgence, even aggrandizement. Were all indulgences as grand as TAK Ensemble’s packaging of Ashkan Behzadi’s music, Mehrdad Jafari’s paintings, and the poetry of Federico García Lorca, however, we[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 144

Taylor Brook / TAK Ensemble. Star Maker Fragments. The British novelist, philosopher, and poet Olaf Stapledon’s 1937 novel Star Maker concerns itself with nothing less than the history of life in the universe. It’s a lot to cover in a little over three hundred pages, much less an hour-long CD, which is why the Edmonton-born[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 139

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

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

Kukuruz Quartet. Julius Eastman—Piano Interpretations One outcome of the streaming era—not a necessary one, but a likely one—is the devaluation of liner notes. It’s not that they don’t exist; for example, George Lewis’s excellent notes to this collection of Julius Eastman piano works by the Kukuruz Quartet appear[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 132

Julius Eastman: That Which Is Fundamental. At the end of February, publisher G. Schirmer, Inc. announced that it had acquired the catalogue of Julius Eastman and would be restoring, publishing, and promoting his works, putting the composer among the ranks of Tan Dun, Terry Riley, Kaaija Saariaho, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Tom Waits.[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Kurt Gottschalk Issue 130

Sixth Dither Extravaganza. Despite its name, the guitar quartet Dither means business. The New York-based group made waves with the 2015 Tzadik release John Zorn’s Olympiad Vol 1: Dither Plays Zorn, with the foursome playing some of Zorn’s less-heard game pieces. But even before that, they were hosting an[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Kurt Gottschalk

Tristan Perich. Parallels; Telescope; Active Field; Dual Synthesis. Across his body of work, composer and conceptualist Tristan Perich varies from electronoise and glitched-out video to sound installations and drawing machines. But what he is no doubt most known for is a singularly focused and wonderfully varied approach to composition. His “one-bit[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 125

Allison Cameron and Contact. A Gossamer Bit. On my first few listens to the four pieces included on Allison Cameron and Contact’s A Gossamer Bit, I felt that two of the compositions were quite good—so good, in fact, that I decided a fifty percent average wasn’t at all bad and started questioning how good[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 123

John Kameel Farah. Between Carthage and Rome. John Kameel Farah’s Between Carthage and Rome is a well-considered pairing of piano and electronics (both at Farah’s hand) that works best if you don’t think too much about it.   Toronto native Farah is a strong pianist and a good conceptualist. He studied[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk