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John Butcher - Nigemizu (Uchimizu, 2015) ****½
53 minutes ago
“…interested in developing a personal sonic language on the guitar, in an attempt to be able to do things I have been hearing, which were not possible though standard ways of playing the guitar.”Setting up a very nice open minded rhythm section with Mark Helias on bass and Gerry Hemingway on drums is certainly a good way to start and they support McManus regardless of how far out he tries to go. On tracks like “The Radio Astronomers” he sculpts pure noise, distortion and feedback before resolving into a more standard improvisation, like a SETI astronomer trying to hone in on an alien signal. “Written in the Cracking of the Ice” has the leader playing splintered notes and runs against an abstract and challenging backdrop of bass and drums. The whole album is a challenging listen, but it is well worth the effort. McManus, Helias and Hemingway give their all in an attempt to develop a new improvisational paradigm. Transcendental Numbers - No Business Records
(excerpt from D:O) Since many readers will already be familiar with much of Ornette’s work, George Scala has shared some genuine rarities that you've probably missed. These tracks illuminate several fascinating corners of his vast discography – including pieces with electronics and symphony orchestra, a stirring graveside tribute to John Coltrane, plus rare appearances as a sideman for two very different vocalists.