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Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices (Intakt) / Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey: Utter (Relative Pitch)

As a bandleader, the wildly inventive soprano and tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock shepherds all-star groups such as Ubatuba, Anti-House, and Serpentines, all category-defying projects with a bent toward unconventional instrumentation and disparate style-shifting. The Germany-born, Brooklyn-based polymath’s collaborative and side work, meanwhile, includes a regular slot in the acclaimed Mary Halvorson Octet, plus stints in … Read More “Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices (Intakt) / Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey: Utter (Relative Pitch)”

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Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley/Sylvie Courvoisier/Tom Rainey: Noise of Our Time (Intakt)

The Intakt label of Switzerland has become an important repository for a genre that might be called “refined free jazz.” It is a productive niche within the jazz art form: edgy enough for thrills, structured enough for coherence. The opening track on Noise of Our Time, Sylvie Courvoisier’s “Checkpoint,” has the plunging, spattering tenor saxophone of … Read More “Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley/Sylvie Courvoisier/Tom Rainey: Noise of Our Time (Intakt)”

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The Nels Cline 4: Currents, Constellations (Blue Note)

Guitarist Nels Cline has always been a sucker for music that’s a bit mystifying—not easily described, transcribed or summarized. So no one should be shocked if he’s particularly pleased with Currents, Constellations, an audaciously charted collaboration with guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. Perhaps “charted” is too strong a word, since … Read More “The Nels Cline 4: Currents, Constellations (Blue Note)”

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Tom Rainey: Obbligato

Obbligato opens with a joke: Drummer Tom Rainey and company are in such a hurry to be “Just in Time” (on the Jule Styne classic) that they begin at full speed, seemingly in mid-tune, awash in open-ended improvising. When they finally do get (back) to the melody, they offer a mere snippet of it and … Read More “Tom Rainey: Obbligato”

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