For the Record is a regular round-up of new and upcoming recordings of interest to the new-music community – contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined – on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.
This list of release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon, Bandcamp, and other internet stores and sources, social-media posts, and online resources such as Discogs. Dates cited typically correspond to initial U.S. release, and are subject to change. (Links to Amazon, used when all else fails, do not imply endorsement.)
After publication, new listings are incorporated into For the Record: The Master List, a continuously updated resource exclusively accessible to paying Night After Night subscribers, found here.
These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all opinions expressed herein are solely my own, and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
It's still June 10 in Alaska and Hawaii right now, so this counts.
Album of the week.
Relative Pitch; CD, DL
Relative Pitch, a label that for more than a decade has done a superb job of documenting improvised music spanning a wide variety of players and approaches, has included unaccompanied solo discs from pretty close to its start. One recalls fondly the cheekily titled 2014 saxophone session Everybody Digs Michel Doneda, richly contrasted 2015 sets from guitarist Joe Morris (Solos Bimhuis) and pedal-steel player Susan Alcorn (Soledad), and Jessica Pavone's arresting series of viola studies: Silent Spills (2016), In the Action (2019), and When No One Around You is There but Nowhere to be Found (2022).
Lately, the label's been on a serious solo-album hot streak—whether that's a reflection or result of pandemic isolation is anyone's guess. Since the arrival last November of electric guitarist Ava Mendoza's enveloping New Spells (jointly released with Astral Spirits) have come four unaccompanied saxophone sets: Robbie Lee's engulfing Prismatist, Aaron Burnett's rigorous Correspondence, Masayo Koketsu's deliberate Fukiya, and Alexandra Grimal's meditative refuge. The last arrives next week alongside a grain of Earth, on which Marta Warelis, a Polish pianist based in Amsterdam, alternates between mercurial keyboard impromptus and atomized abstractions wrought from wood, wire, and felt.
Even in this much strong company, LOVE SONGS, the latest release from New York-based violinist gabby fluke-mogul, still manages to stand out. Having seen fluke-mogul perform last October with saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi and multi-instrumentalist Che Chen, I had a fair impression of their intensity as a player and listener; having heard threshold, fluke-mogul's 2021 solo album (also on Relative Pitch), I was familiar with the visceral physicality and probing intelligence that informed their vocabulary. More recently, RUE, an evening-length piece fluke-mogul created for and played with Nava Dunkelman, Ava Mendoza, and Zeena Parkins on a commission from Roulette, made a powerful impression in an archived livestream.
The intensity, focus, and explosive technique evident in all the aforementioned encounters is abundantly evident on LOVE SONGS, but constrained to tightly controlled durations of roughly 1-3 minutes apiece—a deliberate move, they told writer Greg Nahabedian last October in a 5 Questions column for I Care If You Listen. On the Relative Pitch Bandcamp page, the album's pieces are described, presumably by fluke-mogul, as "seventeen violin compositions for improvisation devoted to the multitudinous hues of intimacy."
Appropriately or not, what the concept brings to mind is 14 Love Poems, a 1984 solo LP by the iconic German saxophone improviser Peter Brötzmann, who subverts a saccharine title with performances that howl, cajole, and sometimes seduce. Like Brötzmann's, fluke-mogul's conception embraces conventional manners of melodic playing—balladry is hardly absent. But these LOVE SONGS evoke more than flirtation and satisfaction. In their mix of scratch, sinew, and the occasional shriek, fluke-mogul seems to evoke the passions (in manifold senses), frictions, struggles, and labors that also can be encompassed in the condition and act of love.
It's a gripping, frequently ripping experience throughout, and one certain to stir passions all its own.
New this week.
Derek Bailey - Domestic Jungle (Scatter Archive; home recordings from the 1990s)
Lise Barkas & Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy - Compressibilités (INSUB.)
Bing & Ruth - "Nearer (solo piano)" (4AD)
Sally Decker and Briana Marela - Small Tremble in Slow Motion (Surface World)
Bryan Eubanks - for four double basses (INSUB.)
Tom Flaherty - Mixed Messages - performances by Sara Parkins, Sarah Thornblade, Jeff Gauthier, Alma Lisa Fernandez, Cynthia Fogg, Maggie Parkins, Mark Winges, Genevieve Feiwen Lee, and Vicki Ray (New Focus)
gabby fluke-mogul - LOVE SONGS (Relative Pitch)
Sam Gendel - SUPERSTORE (Leaving)
Dylan Henner - Flues of Forgotten Sands (Dauw)
David Lang - the writings - Cappella Amsterdam/Daniel Reuss (Pentatone)
Lincoln Trio - Trios from Contemporary Chicago - compositions by Shawn E. Okpebholo, Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Mischa Zupko, and Stacy Garrop (Çedille)
Lisa Moore - no place to go but around - compositions by Frederic Rzewski (Cantaloupe Music)
Phill Niblock - Ghosts and Others (Room40)
Printiig - Walls (Superpang)
Qubit - SLOW MOTION - compositions by Sally Decker and Briana Marela, David Bird, Aaron Einbond, and Alec Hall (Carrier)
Steve Reich - Reich/Richter -Ensemble Intercontemporain/George Jackson (Nonesuch)
Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson - Various Artists (Econore)
Elliott Sharp - IrRational Music 1 (Zoar; recorded 1980-81)
Elliott Sharp - IrRational Music 2 (Zoar; recorded 1985)
Elliott Sharp - IrRational Music 3 (Zoar; recorded 1988)
Sam Slater - I do not wish to be known as a Vandal (Bedroom Community)
Smoke Point (Brian Foote & Sage Caswell) - Smoke Point (Geographic North)
Cassiopeia Sturm & Patrick Shiroishi - The Invention of the Saxophone (Surface World)
Sun of Goldfinger (David Torn, Tim Berne, and Ches Smith) - OZMIR (Screwgun)
Tan Dun - Eight Memories in Watercolor; C-A-G-E- (In Memory of John Cage); Film Music Sonata; Traces; The Fire; Blue Orchid - Ralph van Raat (Naxos)
Time for Three with Philadelphia Orchestra/Xian Zhang- Letters for the Future - compositions by Kevin Puts and Jennifer Higdon (Deutsche Grammophon)
Toshiya Tsunoda - Landscape and Voice (Black Truffle)
Various artists - The Asocial Telepathic Ensemble (Corvo)
Alexandra Grimal - refuge (Relative Pitch)
Sarah Plum - Personal Noise - compositions by Kyong Mee Choi, Jeff Herriott, Mari Kimura, Eric Lyon, Eric Moe, Charles Nichols, and Mari Takano (Blue Griffin)
Scanner - The Homeland of Electricity (DiN)
Matthew Shipp - World Construct (ESP-Disk')
Wadada Leo Smith - The Emerald Duets - performances with Pheeroan akLaff, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, and Jack DeJohnette (TUM)
Wadada Leo Smith - String Quartets Nos. 1-12 - RedKoral Quartet with Wadada Leo Smith, Alison Bjorkedal, Anthony Davis, Lynn Vartan, Stuart Fox, and Thomas Buckner (TUM)
Marta Warelis - a grain of Earth (Relative Pitch)
Brunhild Ferrari & Christoph Heemann - Stürmische Ruhe (Black Truffle)
Kirk Knuffke Trio - Gravity Without Airs (Tao Forms)
Steve Cardenas/Ben Allison/Ted Nash - Healing Power: The Music of Carla Bley (Sunnyside)
Cheryl E. Leonard - Antarctica: Music from the Ice (Other Minds)
Randal Despommier - A Midsummer Odyssey: The Music of Lars Gullin (Sunnyside)
Allison Miller & Carmen Staaf - Nearness (Sunnyside)
Vanessa Rossetto - The Actress (Erstwhile)
Chacon/Nakatani/Santistevan - Inhale/Exhale (Other Minds)
SSWAN (Jessica Ackerley, Patrick Shiroishi, Chris Williams, Luke Stewart, Jason Nazary) - Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster (577 Records)