Tag Archives: Free Jazz

NoBusiness Records Brings the Past and Present of Avant-Jazz Together

No Business, Billy Bang

Billy Bang

Ten years into its existence, NoBusiness Records is widely regarded as one of the finest avant-jazz labels in the world. It’s especially renowned for its archival digs into the 1970s New York loft scene and its thoughtful curation of contemporary improvised music from around the world. Based in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, the label grew out of founders Danas Mikailionis and Valerij Anosov’s concert promotions. With no Lithuanian label willing to put out the recordings of those concerts, the pair took matters into their own hands, egged on by Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, whose solo and group performances became NoBusiness’s first releases. “Mats encouraged us to start the label,” recalls Mikailionis. “He said that we needed to be bold and gave us some invaluable advice on how to deal with the press and distributors. Of course it started slowly, but we received very positive feedback and it started growing.”

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Lifetime Achievement: Hieroglyphic Being’s Experimental Acid House Mythologies

lifetime_achievement_award-1244To hold a cursory conversation with Chicago native Jamal Moss, the mind behind experimental acid house project Hieroglyphic Being, is to strut through Chicago house history. Having come up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Moss attended shows and raves at clubs like the Muzic Box, where legendary producer Ron Hardy DJed. Moss has done a bit of everything concerning the music industry—starting by dancing out at clubs, becoming a promoter, DJing at clubs and on the radio at WNUR, making music under many aliases, and having his own label (Mathematics Recordings). Over the course of a two-hour chat at Evanston restaurant the Peckish Pig, he mentions working in robotics, academia, at a financial firm, and even as a gigolo. And that’s without even touching Hieroglyphic Being, his prolific project which melds a number of styles—free jazz, industrial music, New Age, and acid house—into a sound entirely his own.

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Audio Rebels In Rio: Peter Brötzmann’s Full Blast Trio Detail Exhilarating New Live LP

Full Blast

On a small street in Rio de Janeiro’s Botafogo neighborhood, an upper-middle-class beachfront community tucked up against scenic Guanabara Bay, sits a small but potent artistic institution known as Audio Rebel. The multi-use space has served many purposes since its doors opened in 2005; today, it’s not only a venue and recording space, but also a respected instrument store, complete with its own luthiery shop. For the members of Peter Brötzmann’s trio Full Blast, however, Audio Rebel carries a particular sort of significance, as the grand finale of the band’s exhausting, six-date romp through Brazil and Chile in 2016—one of their most powerful shows to date.  Continue reading

Konstrukt and Keiji Haino Make Their Own Improvisational Musical Language


Photos by Alp Egemen

Life in Turkey is tough these days, and likely to get tougher now that President Tayyip Erdoğan has been granted sweeping new powers, is instituting hard-right authoritarian policies, and has been arresting dissidents and journalists.

“Things have never been easy in Turkey for anybody with an open mind, and it won’t be easier from now on,” says Konstrukt co-founder Umut Çaglar. “We as a band never had any financial relationship with or expectation from any corporation or government, so the key element is to stay independent to be able to survive in these dark days.”

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Lifetime Achievement: Joe McPhee’s Vast and Brilliant Improvisational Discography

Joe McPhee

In our Lifetime Achievement series, Bandcamp Daily takes a deep dive into the work of artists with a staggering number of releases to their name.

Joe McPhee has been playing music for more than six decades, but he still has the enthusiasm of someone just getting started. “I like the concept of discovery,” he says over the phone from his home in Poughkeepsie, NY. “I’m a romantic. I love music and I love the stories it can tell that quite often don’t get heard.” Continue reading

Rodrigo Amado Embraces Jazz’s Elemental Nature on “A History of Nothing”

Rodrigo Amado

Photo by Geert Vandepoele

“I don’t work with any concepts. We just go into the studio or onto the stage and play,” says Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado. For Amado, freedom is about creating music in the moment, from a blank slate: “If we are improvising from nothing, then we can really focus 100 percent on the moment.”

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How Alan Braufman’s “Valley of Search” Brought Shine to New York’s Loft Jazz Scene

Alan Braufman

Inset photo by Bob Cummins

Located on the west side of lower Manhattan, the Arlo SoHo is a boutique hotel with two bars—one on the rooftop—and a restaurant advertising “an East Coast spin” on Southern cuisine. Everything from king size and bunk bed options are available among its 325 “thoughtfully designed micro rooms,” and guest use of a fleet of three-speed bicycles is complimentary. Though its address is listed as 231 Hudson St., the hotel dominates the lower part of that city block, with a wing wrapping around to parallel Renwick St., and continuing south to adjacent Canal St. on the corner where 501 Canal St. once stood.

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The Dwarfs of East Agouza Are a Brilliant Blend of Funk and Free Jazz

Dwarfs East Agouza

Photos by Maged Nader

The eccentrically-named Dwarfs of East Agouza were set up on the floor of a hip, dimly-lit downtown Cairo nightclub called Zigzag in October 2016. As young Egyptians drank beer and hung out, band members Sam Shalabi and Alan Bishop began conjuring up a rhythmic swirl of atonal guitar, feedback, and free jazz saxophone skronk.

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