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

Indweller. Living Gem. Indweller is the new collaborative duo of Toronto-based multidisciplinary audiovisual artist and producer Ilyse Krivel (eternalrealworld) and multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher. Living Gem, their remarkable debut, showcases their complementary approaches, while probing the very nature of[...] Read more

Recordings Michael Rancic Issue 137

OKAN. Espiral. Since forming the Toronto-based Afro-Cuban jazz duo OKAN in 2017, Magdelys Savigne and Elizabeth Rodriguez have been trumpeting their island’s eclectic sounds free of a Western filter or figure, steadily becoming stars of Canada’s growing global sound. On the heels of their EP [...] Read more

Recordings Chaka V. Grier

Sarah Albu and Vergil Sharkya'. Intoxidation. Experimental vocalist Sarah Albu and composer and sound-artist Vergil Sharkya' have come together to create a radiant sonic force. The duo’s first release, the eight-track digital-only issue Intoxidation, is full of the type of unabashed raucousness that involuntarily elicits[...] Read more

Recordings Adam Scime Issue 137

Yves Charuest. Le Territoire de l’anche.   Yves Charuest is a distinguished alto saxophonist with deep roots in improvised music, including five years spent in German bassist Peter Kowald’s trio and decades of collaboration with fellow Québécois musicians. On Le Territoire de l’anche (territory of the[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 137

Jordan Nobles. Chiaroscuro. When our ancient ancestors gazed up at the tiny dots of light illuminated against the inky black darkness of the night sky, they were captivated by the mysterious and beautiful spectacle displayed before them. The award-winning Vancouver composer Jordan Nobles clearly shares this[...] Read more

Recordings Griffin Martell Issue 137

New Hermitage. Unearth. Unearth is a fitting title for the fifth full-length release from the Halifax- and Montreal-based improvisational quartet New Hermitage: spectral yet grounded, these recordings capture a group of musicians committed to the perception-shifting possibilities of close attention. The four[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 137

Witch Prophet. DNA Activation. Witch Prophet is a fitting name for Ayo Leilani, whose enchanting, bold, and malleable vocals, hypnotic rhythms, and profound lyrical wisdom conjure powerful stories. Her latest release, DNA Activation, both lives up to and expands on the achievement of her stunning 2018 solo debut, The Golden[...] Read more

Recordings Chaka V. Grier Issue 137

Hope Lee. Across the Veiled Distances. Covering almost four decades of Hope Lee’s writing for the piano, Across the Veiled Distances encompasses a wide musical investigation in a retrospective album of her evolving relationship to the instrument. Through five works, Lee layers foreground and background piano gestures, balancing[...] Read more

Recordings Monica Pearce

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

Pantayo. Pantayo. Pantayo is five Toronto-based women who bring ancient Philippine kulintang music and modern Western pop styles together in a fascinating, startling, and exciting new hybrid.   The band members—Eirene Cloma, Michelle Cruz, Joanna Delos Reyes, and sisters Kat and Katrina[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie