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A Series Of Vignettes, A Banjo Freakout, A Meeting Of Masters

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A Series Of Vignettes, A Banjo Freakout, A Meeting Of Masters

A Series Of Vignettes, A Banjo Freakout, A Meeting Of Masters

You might be wondering, "Lars, baby, where have you been for the last few weeks? I need my weekly fix of disjointed rhythms, searing squawks and borderline-sanity improvisation!" Folks, sometimes a man needs a vacation and sometimes he stays in New York City a few extra days so he can watch an awesome concert put on by his employer. Tough life, I know.

Well, I missed you, too, ABS readers. Let's kiss and make up with three avant-jazz and improvised music albums that are hitting my sweet spot right now.

Cover art to Seabrook Power Plant's new album. Courtesy of Loyal Label. hide caption

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Courtesy of Loyal Label.

Tom Abbs & Frequency Response - Lost & Found (Engine Studios): There's something refreshing about a free jazz disc with 18 tracks, none exceeding the six-minute mark. Most musicians of the out-jazz mindset love to roam (and I enjoy taking those trips with them), but Tom Abbs & Frequency Response execute full ideas in smaller time frames (occasionally, even shorter than two minutes). I'm never left wanting more and I'm given exactly what I want to hear. Tom Abbs switches instruments (bass, cello, tuba) as the piece calls for it, and his Triptych Myth partner Chad Taylor (drums) is downright telepathic in his rumbling responses. And, surprisingly, it all runs together quite nicely like a string of sonic vignettes.

A Series Of Vignettes, A Banjo Freakout, A Meeting Of Masters

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"Torn," from Tom Abbs & Frequency Response, Lost & Found. Tom Abbs, bass, cello, tuba; Brian Settles, tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Jean Cook, violin; Chad Taylor, drums.

Purchase: Amazon / Amazon MP3 / iTunes

A banjo-led freakout, and a pairing of old and new improv masters, after the jump.

Cover art to Evan Parker & John Wiese's new album. Courtesy of Second Layer. hide caption

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Courtesy of Second Layer.

Seabrook Power Plant - Seabrook Power Plant (Loyal Label): Sometimes it's frightening how well my co-workers know me. Tom Cole dropped this off at my desk with a "this has your name written all over it" look in his eye. In essence, Seabrook Power Plant is what I've always wanted gonzo improviser Eugene Chadbourne, who I love so much in theory, to sound like. The mostly banjo-led trio imagines Americana as thrash/doom metal, punk and jazz all in a crazed state of improvisation, often all in one song. It's like a hoedown, except the hooch has been spiked with speed.

A Series Of Vignettes, A Banjo Freakout, A Meeting Of Masters

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"Occupation 1977," from Seabrook Power Plant, Seabrook Power Plant. Brandon Seabrook, banjo, guitar; Tom Blancarte, bass, Jarod Seabrook, drums.

Purchase: CD Baby / Insound

Cover art to Tom Abbs & Frequency Response's new album. Courtesy of Engine Studios. hide caption

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Courtesy of Engine Studios.

Evan Parker & John Wiese - C-Section (Second Layer): I love when old improv masters meet new ones, especially when the results are so satisfying. With a raw tone that might as well come out of a slasher flick, saxophonist Evan Parker is the perfect foil to laptop noise-maker John Wiese and his harsh flickers of sound. Being both prolific collaborators, it's somewhat surprising that it's taken so long for these two to meet, but somewhere between their collected efforts with Peter Brotzmann, Wolf Eyes, Derek Bailey and Sunn O))), it's almost as if they'd been unknowingly working towards this first duo album. C-Section finds density in scarcity — deep, glacial muck bubbles emerge beneath Parker's inhuman circular breathing, only to plunge into an incessant clatter of industrial disgrace.

From Oct. 1-16, Evan Parker will hold residency at The Stone. No John Wiese duo is scheduled (bummer), but I hope to have more on this soon.

A Series Of Vignettes, A Banjo Freakout, A Meeting Of Masters

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"The Jist (excerpt)," from Evan Parker & John Wiese, C-Section.

Purchase: Mimaroglu Music Sales / Second Layer