Steve Reynolds

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About Steve Reynolds

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  • Birthday 04/25/1960

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Wayne, NJ
  • Interests music of all sorts that gets my heart pumping, live improvisational music, Car auctions on TV, Red Sox & Patriots

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  1. Overlooked pianists

    Agusti Fernandez
  2. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    I love it. Maybe best Cleaver on record. Sounds like he does live in a small room. Maybe *the* first recording where I really *heard* Rodrigo Amado. He is better than ever. He deserves some appearances on some of the fine labels releasing records these days. I see him every chance I can. Among the most powerful explosive drummers playing today. A different sort of power than Nasheet Waits - Randy's methods are almost an anti-groove thump. Plus he’s a soloist and Nasheet isn’t. Peterson might be the only drummer who can play 2 or 3 big time solos in one set and it’s not overkill.
  3. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    I’m so far not as thrilled with the last Amado Quartet on Trost as I was with the previous “This is Our Language” on Not Two. I think I need to get that one in the rotation over the next couple of weeks. Amado is a fascinating powerful yet restrained improvisor. Similar in some ways to a guy like Jeb Bishop on trombone or one of your favorites - Kirk Knuffke on trumpet/cornet. Not surprising is that the 2 quartet recordings with Bishop joining Amado’s Motion Trio from 2012 are wonderful. I think “The Flame Alphabet” is much more than that - another one of those Not Two releases that in a different musical world would be recognized as a stone cold classic. It’s a short <43 minutes (IIRC) improvised suite like recordings that hits unexpected and very intense simultaneously improvised passages. The longer live recording is the one that is just simply wonderful. It’s called something like Live at Jazz Central. I lent this to a friend of mine who is new to this sort of jazz (young guy - 23 who plays a bit of guitar and likes all kinds of other music and started with more straight jazz via shows @ Smalls and older classic bop and post-bop recordings) and then he met me!!! I brought him to a few shows and he was starting getting into some of this stuff. then we went to Malaby with Tim Dahl, Ben Monder & Gerald Cleaver in August and he was liking much of it yet I think still not sure what was happening. THEN 10 days ago Malaby, Monder but this time Nasheet Waits. I told him we will hear intensity but with Waits it will be JAZZ at the core and it was that and more. First set was great but THEN the second set happened and we both experienced one of those magic music genius sets of impossible energy & creativity and I think he’s really into it. Amado is like that as well. Lots in common yet different than Tony Malaby. Malaby also restrained in his way but more radical and extreme plus he plays with his melodies and phrases from his roots which are obviously way different than Rodrigo. Too bad Malaby doesn’t have maybe the best/highest quality free jazz label documenting his music like Amado does. Plus Amado comes across better on record. Malaby is a much more inconsistent player who can lose even me (as I’m a very dedicated committed listener) for parts of even most of an hour set. happily this year he’s playing as well as he was 3-4 years ago. Previously his playing from 2011 up through 2014 or maybe 2015 was often astounding yet sometimes I’d be mystified at what the hell was happening and that happened more in 2016 & the beginning of 2017. At the 4 or 5 shows I’ve seen over the last year starting with an incredible 2 sets last fall with Daniel Levin & Randy Peterson he’s been just burning smoking hot on both horns.
  4. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    I was pretty much floored by it. McPhee has a seemingly endless variety of modes and phrases of improvising. Plus Lazro and/or McPhee are great foils for each other. Add in that drumming and the mysterious analogue synthesizer and again - Wow while we are at it here are a few other pretty incredible way WAY under the radar recordings: another Joe McPhee release - Six Situations with Damon Smith & Alvin Fielder - in some ways not as exciting as the 2 more recent trio & quartet recordings but this one is all tenor saxophone and a bit more traditional with the legendary Fielder on a great sounding old school drum kit in a great slightly bigger room (Roulette) from September 2016. How about this one - never heard of this saxophonist - Liudus Mockunus. This is Trio with Rafal Mazur & Raymond Strid - also on Not Two. Short session under 40 minutes - called Live in Divadlo 29 - released in 2017 but recorded back in 2012. one of the most stunning improvised suites of music I’ve heard in recent years / just another WOW also some fairly recent No Business releases that stand out: The Attic - cooperative trio with Goncalo Almeida on double bass, Rodrigo Amado on tenor saxophone & Marco Franco on drums. Probably stronger than Amado’s Desire & Freedom recent Motion Trio Disc on Not Two. Before the Silence - another group improvised disc - quartet with Albert Cirera on tenor & soprano saxophones, Hernami Faustino on double bass, Agusti Fernandez on piano & Gabriel Ferrandini on drums.
  5. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    I’m have VERY mixed thoughts about whether to get the Vandermark, Wooley, Courvoisier & Rainey CD. It’s expensive here in the States and as the King states there is so much stuff coming out. For starters I recently picked up a stack of Not Two releases as they shipped them all at one shipping cost. I’m almost done with my first or second or even third pass through these newly released & received discs (save for the slightly less recent released Game Theory (Survival Unit III which is McPhee, Lonberg-Holm & Zerang), Kyle Bruckman’s Degradient (2 CD set of some far different kinda stuff) & DKV trio’s Latitude). just based on my first listen (I mentioned the incredible Journey to Parazzar elsewhere) the following all appear to be extraordinary: Clifford Thornton Memorial Quartet - Sweet Oranges - Quartet with McPhee, Lazro, crazy synth player & Makoto Soto on drums Cene Resnick Watch for Dogs Trio - Shades for Colours - yes from 2017 but pretty much wow most impressive might be the 3 CD set from Per-Ake Holmlander / Carliot with 2 discs of small formations & the 3rd with a large band - WOW plus the great 5 CD Zlatko Kaucic box - the 2 CD’s with Evan Parker are great (one is a trio with Agusti Fernandez) but there is a quartet session with Lotte Anker on soprano & tenor saxophones, Artur Majewski on trumpet (!!!) & Rafal Mazur on acoustic bass guitar that is quite incredible. this doesn’t even include a few of the great things I havn’t yet purchased like the 8 CD Joelle Leandre box or a very recent trio set with Agusti Fernandez and a less recent trio set with the great pianist. Plus there is more from them and also take a look at the great releases from No Business.....
  6. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    Too bad they didn’t record Monder, Malaby & Waits on Saturday October 6th Tony is playing better than ever and in a much more exciting and challenging way than 15 to 20 years ago. Nasheet’s intensity and power as overwhelming as ever. Great first set. Second set was otherworldly.
  7. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    Trying to get to the show @ Jazz Gallery on Sunday 10/28 the recently release from Vandermark, Wooley etc looks great as well plus the new Fred Frith Trio & a duo recording with Gunter “Baby” Sommer
  8. Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

    First listen to the latter. Really astounding as you noted and as I expected. I’m not normally a big listener to drummerless small groups but I see myself listening to this often. The combination of Gustafsson & Evans is especially fruitful. I’m hoping to see Peter Evans in a new quartet on 10/30 if I can switch my schedule up.
  9. Joe McPhee

    Sounds tempting but it would get me too obsessed about getting too much new music. I’ve found a balance over the years that’s been more healthy. I’m not listening to 30 hours of music a week like I was 20 years ago. Some of these are my favorite musicians (certainly McPhee, Vandermark & Wooley) but they are still only a certain segment of new music that I buy. Plus I keep my new purcashes at a reasonable level. Plus Vandermark releases a bunch of music I’m not nearly as interested in as his large groups or some of his more abstract ensembles. I recently ordered a bunch of free jazz music through the famed trading web-site through a certain seller that allowed that seller to only charge a single shipping cost for 9 CD’s shipping from Poland to here in New Jersey. Not sure catalytic gives me access to that type of pricing. I paid <$100 for those 9 CD’s which will be my only new jazz/free jazz CD’s until probably mid December. These are CD’s that sell for $15+ on amazon plus shipping. Maybe a couple/three in November but that’s it. that being said and being that this thread is about Joe McPhee - the last few releases with Joe (all on Not Two Records) are beyond stunning. don’t get me wrong - I’m thrilled KV keeps offering access and recordings and his presence on the scene is close to priceless. His ongoing energy and commitment to this music over the last 25 years is truly without parallel.
  10. What live music are you going to see tonight?

    Last Saturday a particularly amazing 2 sets @ Cornelia Street Cafe Ben Monder on guitar Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxophones Nasheet Waits on drums Nasheet was otherworldly and even greater than that during the opening 20 minute piece that started the second set and Tony would converted any naysayers here or anywhere unless one is faint of heart. next Thursday Joe Russo’s Almost Dead @ Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA will be my third time seeing this exciting band that takes the music of the Grateful Dead and makes it brand new. My wife should be coming and she absolutely loves them. Also possibly seeing Phil’s band on either 11/1 & 11/2 @ Capital Theatre.
  11. 21 CD box of Art Ensemble of Chicago on ECM

    Impossible to not get this even though I don’t like the way ECM made these guys sound on record. I always thought Urban Bushmen if it was recorded as the band must have sounded live would have been an all-time great record.
  12. The Tuba players

    Good gritty band.
  13. The Tuba players

    That is at Cornelia Street Cafe and I was at that show. (I can tell from the background) very cool this was posted and it’s from exactly my perspective where I normally sit at the club but I think 2:00 of a clip of this sort of music does nothing except give more pause to anyone thinking about giving this music an honest listen. All vibrations and so forth. In between the notes. Microtonal stuff, etc. I’m actually going to Cornelia Street tomorrow night but not for Mat:(
  14. Journey to Parazzar

    On Not Two Records recorded live on 9/24/2017 in Ukraine McPhee on alto saxophone & pocket trumpet Edwards front & center on his Double Bass & Kugel on drums first 28+ minute piece is the most traditional free jazz like piece with McPhee wailing on alto saxophone until he switches to trumpet some 20+ minutes in. As is his wont he gives the others plenty of space entering and re-entering at seemingly random times - very astute listener - he’s maybe the best of this sort. why I posted this is for the second 19+ minute piece which is purely improvised music of the highest order. Starts with bass & drums and Joe adds alto then trumpet later on. Crowd goes bonkers at the end of this improvisation. wow set ends with a 4+ minute and a short 2 minute tribute to Cecil Taylor where McPhee vocalizes to the skies of whatever true living legend at the peak of his powers at 77
  15. Hamiet Bluiett R.I.P.

    One of the great ones Way ahead of the pack on the baritone saxophone When there is no one to compare to a musician, that might be an indication of something truly special gonna dig out Impossible/To Keep