Tag: ShapeShifter Lab


    Wandering through previous editions of the Alternative Guitar Summit could make your head whirl. Diversity is expected in experimental music, but the wealth of action coming from the various configs of string players was marvelous in its range. This year’s fifth annual gathering, taking place at both ShapeShifter Lab and Rockwood Music Hall, expands further, […]

  • Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors

    It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from the bassist-composer’s mid-sized ensemble. But he’s been spending his time wisely. Chamber Music America commissioned “Bear Proof,” which the Cali-grown Sickafoose describes as a “wordless portrait of booms, busts, prospects & ruin in our golden state.” He might nod to a couple pieces from the suite at […]

  • Dave King

    Watching the Bad Plus drummer shift gears while constantly recalibrating tension is one of jazz’s more reliable joys. For this Gowanus hit, King matches wits with formidable NYC improvisers Tim Berne, Matt Mitchell, and Craig Taborn. He also brings his Trucking Company quintet, whose gnarled bop always manages to dispense a smile or three. Also […]

  • Rudy Royston 303

    The enticing thing about the impressive drummer’s new 303 album is its natural diversity. The stylistic zigzag that defines the program keeps listeners guessing — a smart tact for any artist. The one constant is exchange, as many of the pieces are vehicles for interplay, and a variety of memorable soloists, from Jon Irabagon to […]

  • Zevious+Sonar

    Brooklyn’s Shapeshifter has already established itself as a haven for jazz-metal, but now NYC forward-thinkers Zevious enter into the fray: The trio’s deconstruction of the Minutemen’s jazz-damaged punk, Nels Cline avant-guitar godliness, and Behold The Arctopus-like tech-metal precision converge head on on Passing Through The Wall, the trio’s just-dropped second record. Zevious’s compositions are punk-jazz […]

  • Sex Mob+Cuddle Magic

    Led by gregarious slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, Sex Mob is filled out by Kenny Wolleson (drums), Tony Scherr (bass), and Bridget Krauss (alto sax). The quartet covers deliciously familiar material—ranging from John Barry and the Grateful Dead to Nino Rota—with virtuosic chops and high energy. Chamber-pop collective Cuddle Magic is locally sourced, artisanal, and cute […]

  • Steve Coleman

    Crazed counterpoint and cool kinetics are the essence of the bandleader’s now-venerable and still-novel approach to improv. The jabs that are thrown between trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and saxophonist Coleman on the new Functional Arrhythmias sound like they’re coming from boxers determined to land their next combination of punches. It’s a landscape of splintered grooves and […]

  • Andrew D’Angelo DNA Orchestra

    The intrepid saxophonist convenes his big band sporadically, and fans of its trademark fervor wish it was a bit more frequently. Last time I caught ‘em I was reminded how the boss allows melodies to pop up out of nowhere—one main theme might have competition from two or three spots. Ultimately it helps stoke the […]

  • Honey Ear Trio

    Last year’s Steampunk Serenade was a blast. The sax/bass/drums cooperative rolled through an array of landscapes (I liked the “Icelandic Volcano Hymn”) with memorable eloquence. The rhythm section of drummer Allison Miller (always a marvel) and Rene Hart have a new horn player for this Gowanus hit, and in several ways, I can’t wait to […]

  • I Don’t Hear Nothing But The Blues Trio

    Drummer Mike Pride and saxophonist Jon Irabagon have been messing with extended improv forms for the past few years, the tension and tumult of their expressionistic forays becoming blustery ragas. For last year’s Appalachian Haze, they added Orthrelm guitarist Mick Barr, who brings hints of drone to the mix. To steal line from Roland Kirk, […]