Sunday, November 26, 2006

Abstract Index playlist - November 22/06

Many thanks again to Scott Thomson who eloquently expressed the worth of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto, who are a not-for-profit organisation mandated to promote local, creative, improvising musicians. I write about this organization a lot, I believe - although I'm not sure - they're the only organization of its type that's ever existed in Toronto. The AIMT doesn't have the same sociopolitical implications as other collectivthe AACM or early Ambiances Magnetiques, but it has managed to establish a set of festivals and showcases that guarantee some diverse approaches to improvising at good venues. There is a certain amount of crossover between the improv that comes from rock, the improv that comes from jazz and the improv that comes from noise to make for a pretty fertile scene. Improvised music is certainly riding an upward wave of the cycle of popularity, not just in Toronto, and that raises everyone's game.
Thirsty Ear Records seems to have fostered a group of musicians and studio wizards comitted to surgically enhancing avant jazz with electronic beatscapes. One can't directly compare a record label to a musicians' association, but musicians like (Thirsty Ear artistic director) Matthew Shipp and William Parker have centred a like minded group of players for well over a dozen electro jazz in dub albums and that's got to foster some collective spirit. Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstruction didn't exactly fall under the radar, but it improves with every listen. I've been extremely critical of Shipp's electronic work in the past, but in the last few years both he and William Parker have found a greater ease with funky computer generated rhythms. Shipp's oblique style is best when someone else writes a piece around his abilities. That's exactly the method here as Scotty Hard's hip hop sensibility matches up seemingly simple and repetitive rhythms to spur Shipp further down the rabbit hole of introspection. If Shipp is the centreman, then John Medeski is the speedy winger, always finding open space with his endless variety of organ sounds (ewww....). It's hard to tell who's responsible for the rhythms in a computer-edited project like this: Mauricio Takara, Nasheet Waits or DJ Olive - or if Mr. Hard had the last laugh on everyone. The beats don't constrict the freedom, and this project never degenerates into a collage of disconnected jams. I also suspect that practice is increasingly making perfect in these sessions now that everyone can wrap their heads around the technology and work together.

ice tango - conjoint (buro)
arrivals and departures - pierre yves martel (ambiances magnetiques)
neither liquid nor gaseous, torn - wadada leo smith, walter quintus etc. (leo)
wonder - nommonsemble (aum fidelity)
noonday demon - scotty hard' s radical reconstruction surgery (thirsty ear)
true - microscopic septet (cuneiform)
abacabok - tartit (crammed)
texas tea - deadbeat (scape)
nightmarez - hijak (tectonics)
sidestep dub - echo (inthachamber)
gboromiro - king sunny ade (mango) praise singing: check it out... it's the new old economy for musicians
shilling - michael rose/twilight circus crew (m)
i are pt 2 - montgolfiere (indie)
interlude #1 - little huey creative orchestra feat. william parker (aum fidelity)
nachtvogel - kamil hana (sonar kollektiv)
while my guitar gently weeps - moody (sunbeam)
rastafari is calling - mikey general/twilight circus (m)
walls of silence (remix) - noiseshaper (miracle sounds)
sine - kode 9 & the spaceape (soul jazz)
the visionary (version) - destiny (drum street)


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