Repertoire for cello represents a little-explored niche of the greater jazz songbook. In 2013, cellists Tomeka Reid and Fred Lonberg-Holm turned their arrangerly and composerly attention to this terrain, assembling a selection of four originals (three by Lonberg-Holm, one by Reid) and four works by other composers. The latter include “Pluck It” by pioneering jazz cellist Fred Katz, member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet and soundtrack composer for Roger Corman films; “In Walked Ray” by intrepid hardbop bassist and cellist Sam Jones, who worked extensively with Cannonball Adderly; “Rally” by legendary bassist and cellist Ron Carter, who played with everyone from Miles Davis to Eric Dolphy to A Tribe Called Quest; and “Monti-Cello” by Harry Babsin, the least recognizable name in the group who played cello duets with Oscar Pettiford and recorded the first jazz cello solos with Dodo Marmarosa Trio in 1947. These new takes on old charts provide a storied backdrop and contemporary diving-board for Reid and Lonberg-Holm. By turns achingly beautiful – utilizing all the woody resonance of the twinned instruments – and probingly exploratory, they pay reverence to and also rethink their predecessors’ music. Alongside these historically-mined tracks are the player’s own deeply engaging compositions. Reid’s “Alla Mingus For La Bang” pays homage to one stringsman by way of another: bassist Charles Mingus to violinist Billy Bang. Lonberg-Holm’s “Fragile,” C’mon,” and “How Can We?” all investigate the bowed and pizzed cosmos of the celli with devilish relish. Gorgeously recorded direct-to-stereo sans audience at Chicago’s Logan Art Center, with a cover that sports a painting by Lonberg-Holm. Recorded at Logan Art Center, Chicago, direct-to-stereo by David L. Allen on September 21, 2013. Prepared for release by Gordon Comstock. Mastered by Alex Inglizian, Experimental Sound Studio.

Eight Pieces for Two Cellos – Tomeka Reid and Fred Lonberg-Holm

Peter Brötzmann Chicago TentetUltraman vs. Alien Metron12 inch, one-sided LPCvsDLP002In the first years of its existence, starting in 1997, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet worked as a collective, inviting all and any of its participants to contribute compositions to the band's repertoire.  Eventually, the Tentet would jettison scores and pre-planned structures altogether, opting for free improvisation, but on their early tours and initial recordings they played pieces written by the various band members.  A marathon set of summer studio sessions in 2002, just off a U.S. tour, yielded material later featured on two CDs for Okka Disk, Images and Signs.  Of two Mars Williams compositions from the session, one was recorded but never issued...until now.  Featuring the original lineup of the band, which combined seven stellar Chicagoans – Williams, Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang, and Hamid Drake – with Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, and the band's namesake, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet was a sensationally versatile free music ensemble, capable of going into all sorts of unexpected territory.  The group sports a four-saxophone frontline, with twin trombones (McPhee is on valve trombone here), two strings, and a ferocious drum section featuring Zerang and Drake, who had already worked together intimately for more than 25 years at this point.  Recently rediscovered in his vaults by Williams, newly mixed by original engineer John McCortney, Ultraman vs. Alien Metron is a lost classic of improvised music by one of the premier improvised music bands of its era.  With preposterous juxtapositions of mood, from mostrous lurching heavy rock (underpinning the Japanese Godzilla-esque theme) to hard-swinging freebop and even an incredibly delicate, poignant ballad section, this feature-length track (18+ minutes) is chock full of rock 'em sock 'em goodness.  For the maiden vinyl voyage of Ultraman vs. Alien Metron, Corbett vs. Dempsey has prepared a special package, with artwork and design by Brötzmann.  The format is a one-sided LP, with music on the A-side and the B-side featuring a silkscreen of artwork by Brötzmann.  Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet Ultraman vs. Alien Metron (Mars Williams/18:25) Peter Brötzmann, tenor saxophoneMars Williams, tenor and soprano saxophonesKen Vandermark, baritone saxophoneMats Gustafsson, alto saxophoneJoe McPhee, valve tromboneJeb Bishop, tromboneFred Lonberg-Holm, celloKent Kessler, bassMichael Zerang, drumsHamid Drake, drums

Ultraman vs. Alien Metron – Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet

Globe Unity is available on vinyl CvsDLP003 and CD CvsDCD091 In 1966, pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach assembled his first large ensemble to play his compositions “Globe Unity” and “Sun.” This 14-piece band, which brought together some of the leading figures in European improvised music, would eventually expand – incorporating not only Europeans but also American and Asian musicians – and assume its rightful name: Globe Unity Orchestra. In its nascent outing, beautifully recorded at Ariola Studio in Cologne, Schlippenbach’s band was already sensational, performing at various festivals and solidifying the reputations of some of its star players. Most notably among these was a 25-year-old saxophonist named Peter Brötzmann, whose whole band – saxophonist Kris Wanders, drummer Mani Neumeier, and bassist Peter Kowald, the latter of whom would for a period assume nominal leadership of Globe Unity – was incorporated into the large Schlippenbach group. Globe Unity was Brötzmann’s first outing on LP. Kowald’s too. And future drum heroes of the krautrock genre, Neumeier (with Guru Guru) and Jaki Liebezeit (with Can) constitute the incredible rhythm section. If you factor in German early-free-music mainstays Gunter Hampel (here on flute and bass clarinet, no vibes), trumpeter Manfred Schoof, bassist Buschi Niebergall, and tenor saxophonist Gerd Dudek, Dutch saxophonist and clarinetist Willem Breuker, French trumpeter Claude Deron, the enormity of the band’s potential becomes apparent. Add Schlippenbach himself, an absolute cyclone on the piano as well as prominent tubular bells and gong, and the global scene is set. Schlippenbach’s unique position at the time, as one of the foremost players in German free music, but also as a rising young composer who’d studied with Bernd Alois Zimmermann, allowed him to serve as exactly the right conduit for several approaches to creative music, from introducing his graphically notated scores to making a perfect context for the debuts of future star improvisors Brötzmann and Kowald.Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity was first issued on SABA in 1967, then MPS a couple of years after that. It has long been out of print and has only ever appeared on CD in a tiny Japanese version published in 1999. Corbett vs. Dempsey is reissuing this classic record in a special, strictly limited edition of 500 vinyl LPs and 1000 CDs, with a faithful facsimile of the original LP’s gatefold cover. The music was remastered from the original tapes and is licensed directly from MPS. Anyone interested in the history of improvised music needs to hear Globe Unity, which retains a sense of urgency 56 years after it was waxed. Track List: 1. Globe Unity 20’122. Sun 20’34 Musicians: Manfred Schoof Claude Deron Willi Lietzmann Peter Brötzmann Gerd Dudek Kris Wanders Willem Breuker Gunter Hampel Karlhanns Berger Buschi Niebergall Peter Kowald Jaki Liebzeit Mani Neumeier Aleaxander von Schlippenbach Produced by: Joachim E. Berendt Recording director: Willi Fruth Engineer: Gert Lemnitz Recorded December 6th and 7th, 1966 at Ariola Studio Cologne Cover painting: “C 12” by Henry Garde Photos: Uwe Oldenberg Cover design and layout: Gigi Berendt Compositions by Alexander von Schlippenbach

Alexander von Schlippenbach – Globe Unity

LP - Edition of 300 copies, handmade textile artwork w/ printed inner / CD Edition of 150 copies, handmade textile artwork Sylvain Chauveau has been releasing quiet and minimal compositions on various labels for more than two decades. ultra-minimal marks his debut for Sonic Pieces and takes the minimal approach even further, centring on reduction and limitation. The album was recorded live at Café Oto, London in March 2022 - one of Sylvain’s rare solo concerts and the first time he performed publicly with only acoustic instruments; no machines, no recorded sounds have been used, only piano, guitar, harmonium and melodica, played one at the time. While some of the compositions are completely new, others are live versions of previously released pieces which have either been performed close to their original or stripped-down, reduced to a single instrument and partly rearranged. This reveals a predilection for repetitions and variations that Sylvain shares with Jim Jarmusch, and at the same time it is a personal attempt to avoid electronic devices as a tool for live music. The artwork and track titles follow this reductionist idea and an aesthetic of miniaturization that Sylvain has developed for many years. They refer to the minimalist, concrete poetry that he writes regularly. In this context rewriting some of the original titles was a consistent implication to achieve a complete work, an album that perfectly represents Sonic Pieces’ aesthetics, both musically and visually.

ultra-minimal – Sylvain Chauveau

The future is a flash-back! Having dynamited the end of the 70s, in the next decade, Philippe Doray was still alive and kicking. With Laurence Garcette, he juggled with keyboards and all their simulations to begin the “second period” of the Asociaux Associés (the Antisocial Associates). Labyrinthine programming lead to songs which go crazy: electro, pop, krautrock, no wave…? In a word, French chanson as it was never heard before or since. “Nobody Move!”, so says Philippe Doray and his Asociaux Associés (the Antisocial Associates)! Having dynamited the end of the 70s with two radical albums – Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires in 1976 & Nouveaux Modes Industriels in 1978, both reissued by Souffle Continu – Doray still hadn’t finished singing. Throughout the next decade he began his Composant compositeur which would document the “second period”, as he calls it, of his Asociaux Associés. The record includes new schizo-electro songs which make the most of his association with Laurence Garcette, who also plays any and all sorts of keyboards. A prolongation of the first period of the Asociaux Associés, the duo updates Doray’s poetry: in reaction to the current overcast atmosphere, here are some hallucinatory fantasies to the rhythm of an infernal circle dance (« Le petit géant ») or an ecstatic waltz (“Bombés fluo”) or even coded messages stuffed into bottles and thrown into space (“Secoue le flipeur”, “Choc d’amour”). On the bonus CD there are further iconoclastic examples: rare recordings (unpublished or even “inaudible”) of the Asociaux Associés but also by Crash, a duo that Doray formed with Thierry Müller (Ilitch, Ruth). At the controls of their experiment-bending machine the musicians multiply the possibilities: peripheral rock, arias in orbit, broken swing, industrial mantras and other joyful falsities. Enough to make you lose your mind ? No… as Philippe Doray promised: it is the “jackpot qui frissonne” (the shivering jackpot) which is there to excite.

Le Composant Compositeur – Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associés

For the 1983 edition of Company Week held at London's I.C.A. in May of that year, guitarist Derek Bailey once more invited a typically eclectic collection of guests. Cellist Ernst Reijseger is a mainstay of Dutch new jazz (ICP Orchestra, Clusone Trio...), American wind virtuoso J.D.Parran a veteran of the Black Artists' Group and Anthony Davis and Anthony Braxton ensembles, while saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, as titans of European free improvisation, need no introduction. French bassist/vocalist Joëlle Léandre is equally at home playing free or performing works by Cage and Scelsi, while Vinko Globokar is an acclaimed composer as well as a trombonist of monstrous virtuosity. He and British electronics pioneer Hugh Davies served time with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and before a brief stint with Robert Fripp's King Crimson, percussionist Jamie Muir was, with Davies, on the very first (Music Improvisation) Company outing in 1970. Bailey once described playing solo as a "second-rate activity"; while at the other end of the spectrum, large improvising ensembles can, if they're not careful, descend into the musical equivalent of a rugby scrum: dangerous, but thrilling -- listen to what happens when Brötzmann comes barreling into the final track here. Sometimes one instrument takes center stage, as Parker's circular-breathing soprano does at the beginning of "Trio Five", but knowing when to lie low, as he does in the brief austere "Trio Three", is just as crucial to the success of the whole. Muir makes sure he doesn't get in the way of Globokar and Parran's leisurely exchanges on "Trio Four", but the trombonist is all over the place on "Trio One" -- transcribe what Globokar does here and it might be the most difficult trombone music ever written -- with Léandre racing up and down her bass and Davies all spikes, squeaks and squiggles, after which "Trio Two" is a lighter affair, Parran's flute and Léandre's vocals twittering together while Derek's acoustic twangs merrily along. With a touch of dry Bailey humor, two of the seven tracks aren't trios at all: "Trio Minus One" is his duo with Reijseger, running the gamut from crazed polyrhythmic strumming (imagine Reinhardt and Grappelli playing Schoenberg and Nancarrow simultaneously) to what must be the fastest cello pizzicati ever recorded. And on the closing ecstatic nonet, Brötzmann and trumpeter John Corbett prove that too many cooks don't necessarily spoil the broth but sure as hell spice it up.

Trios – Company