Artist Feature: Guitarist Jessica Ackerley

Jessica Ackerley is a leading guitarist in her generation of improvisers and experimentalists in Brooklyn today. Originally from Alberta, and having trained at Grant MacEwan and Rutgers, she has played with many contemporary figures since arriving in New York City in 2013. Her debut record as a leader, Coalesce, was one of the underground surprises of

Review: Luke Stewart – Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier

This week I had the great pleasure of viewing Yo-Yo Ma’s Tiny Desk Concert on NPR’s website. I’ve been a fan of his playing for years, especially his rendition(s) of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites (of which I was introduced to through the legendary cellist Pablo Casals[1]). Like most of the series, the worldly performer

Review: Jason Kao Hwang Ensemble at Bushwick Public House, Aug 13, 2018

Jason Kao Hwang (violin) brought collaborators Stomu Takeishi (electric bass) and Michael T.A. Thompson (drums) to Bushwick Public House last night for a dynamic set of improvisations. The music was fully improvised, riveting throughout, and evolved impressively from beginning to end. The piece had four distinct sections, giving the set the feeling of a suite with

In Conversation with Scottie McNiece, Co-Founder of International Anthem Recording Co.

Finding my way to Co-Prosperity Sphere, the headquarters of the local record label on the Southside of Chicago was fated by a number of fortunate incidents that began with my coverage of the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival. I was able to witness incredible performances by Lauryn Hill, Chaka Khan, Blood Orange, Raphael Saadiq and others,

Review: Kyoko Kitamura’s Tidepool Fauna – Protean Labyrinth

Kyoko Kitamura’s quartet, Tidepool Fauna, just released their debut album “Protean Labyrinth” on August 10. Joined by Ingrid Laubrock on tenor saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass, and Dayeon Seok on drums, Kitamura leads the group through the eight tracks on the record with her brilliant vocalization. While the instrumentation allows for a large and full

Playlist for the Week of August 6, 2018

Don Dietrich & Ben Hall – Spitfire (What the …? Records, 2011) [vinyl] Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore – Three Less Than Between (Clean Feed, 2009) Thumbscrew – Theirs (Cuneiform, 2018) TMT Trio – Star Ballad (self-released, 2017) Shay Hazan – Good Morning Universe (No Business, 2018) Bobby Naughton, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson – The Haunt (No Business, 2018) Satoko Fujii &

Review: Kinsmen and Strangers – Faustian Pact

A brilliant example of an album that conveys the strength of the musicians playing, Faustian Pact by Kinsmen and Strangers is one record that I could continue to listen to throughout the day at any moment. Consisting of Jon Crompton on alto saxophone, James Wengrow on guitar, and Mike Alfieri on drums, the trio maintains

Playlist for the Week of July 30, 2018

Dave Rempis, Tomeka Reid, Joshua Abrams – Ithra (Aerophonic, 2018) Magda Mayas & Jim Denley – Tempe Jetz (Relative Pitch, 2017) Nate Wooley – Battle Pieces 2 (Relative Pitch, 2017) Talibam + Matt Nelson & Ron Stabinsky – Hard Vibe (ESP-Disk, 2017) Ole Theill, Thomas Agergaard, Kim Kristensen – Other Species (1997) Thumbscrew – Ours (Cuneiform, 2018) John Butcher, John Edwards,

Review: Charmaine Lee – Ggggg

Charmaine Lee’s record, Ggggg, is an unconventional exploration of noise. The first track “CHUK” gurgles and snores through what sounds like a synthesizer. Immediately, the cover makes sense. Lee’s face is pushed against a glass surface. She looks contained and uncomfortable. The sound we hear is comparable to what one might imagine a body (either animal

Review: Rempis/Piet/Daisy – Throw Tomatoes

Throw Tomatoes is an open call for listeners to honestly respond to the music however they would like to, even if that includes, as Matt Piet states in the liner notes, “If you are revolted by the madness of our method, well, by all means, revolt: throw tomatoes.” The two completely unapologetic and energy filled