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[pe64]Noiseboat
[pe63]Luv Rokambo
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[pe62]Bad Girls
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[pe59]Mason Jones
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[pe58]Wonwons
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[pe56]Old Bombs / Wolf Eyes
[pe55]Silt Fish
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[pe54]A Tomato a Day
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[pe53]Hollydrift
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[pe52]Aidan Baker
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[pe51]Yoko Sato
Searching For My Recording Engineer
[pe50]Inu Yaroh
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[pe49]Ernesto Diaz-Infante & Bob Marsh
Rags and Stones
[pe48]V.
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[pe47]Luv Rokambo
Maze
[pe46]Falafel Avantgarde
He-Pea
[pe45]Rob DeNunzio
Window Music
[pe44]Naturaliste
A Clamor Half Heard
[pe43]Ultra Fuckers
Beyond the Fuckless
[pe42]XV Parowek
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[pe41]Yu Nishibori & Landon Thorpe
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[pe40]Onnyk
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[pe39]Electric Kitten Vomit
The Avant-Garde Revolts
[pe38]Autodidact
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[pe37]Jorge Castro
Sin Titulo #2
[pe36]Matt Silcock
[pe35]Shigehiko Matsui
D-Less-CAR,D-En (IN Between +&-)
[pe34]Khoury / Shearer / Hall
Insignia
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Khoury / Shearer / Hall - Insignia
CD-R



-shotgun
-suzie's blues
-international
-tears for detroit
-panties
-last date
-six and lodge
-8 mile, between woodward and 75
-grand river at m.a.c.




Mike Khoury: violin
Jason Shearer: saxophone, flute, clarinet
Ben Hall: percussion, piano
Maury Coles: saxophone

Reviews:
(Semja 11/01) Mike Khoury is well known for his activities in support of improvised music. He has organized concerts at Entropy Studios in Hamtramck and runs the compact disk label. More important, he is also an accomplished violinist who has performed with many local and visiting improvisers. For some time now he has been playing in a co-operative group with saxophonist and clarinetist Jason Shearer and percussionist/pianist Ben Hall. The trio has just released their first CD, Insignia (Public Eyesore 34, www.sinkhole.net/pehome), with a cameo by Canadian alto saxophonist Maury Coles. All nine tracks were recorded at various public performances in Dearborn, Hamtramck, and Lansing and while the sound quality is not the best, it certainly is good enough for full enjoyment of the music. This is an ensemble and not a collection of players and the accent is on group playing; the unusual instrumentation and the highly intuitive interplay result in an original sound. Shearer has a full and yet ascerbic saxophone sound and excels on the clarinet. Hall can mix it up with power, but knows when to play sparsely and Khoury alternates between melodic single lines and chordal riffs. They listen to each other and know how to move from mood to mood and never stay in one place for too long. The members of the trio clearly take their cues from contemporary European improvisers as well as from classic free jazz of the sixties, but the result is identifiable and original, played with passion and feeling. - Piotr Michalowski

(Hour Detroit 10/01) The scrappy haven for improvisational music in the area, Hammtramck's Entropy Studios, has been an oasis for adventurous souls interested in new music. This CD, recorded by Entropy's founders - violinist Khoury, percussionist Hall, and saxophonist Shearer - provides a good idea of the free-form jazz and progressive music that's heard live at Entropy concerts. Most selections, such as "Suzie's Blues" and "8 Mile, Between Woodward and 75," exude a fresh spontaneity, but a few, like "Tears for Detroit," are too amorphous, sounding more like a practice session rather than inspired improvisation. Perhaps the most alluring cut is the searching "Last Date," possessing and eerie quality of alienation. With their almost total lack of melody, these pieces are certainly not going to inspire you to hum along, but the more challenging numbers will compel you at least to remember them. - G. Bulanda

(Dead Angel no.47)Witness the sounds of crazed improvisation as violinist Mike Khoury (he of Entropy Stereo and maker of exotic sounds for many moons) is joined by percussionist Ben Hall and the bleating sax of Jason Shearer. This is pure rhythmic chaos, often anchored more by the violin or sax than by the actual percussion. "Suzie's Blues" is more like extremely free jazz (old-school, mind you), and while "International" has an actual steady beat, it rests in the background and is often drowned out by the harmonizing between the sax and violin. The stuttering violin in "Panties" is offset by eccentric drum patterns and brief, squealing runs from the sax; "Last Date," however, sounds less like jazz (free or otherwise) and more like a disrupted radio transmission of violin from another planet. The jazz stylings are more evident in "8 Mile, Between Woodward and 75," dominated mainly by Shearer's trilling sax lines, and (to a lesser extent) on "Grand River at M.A.C.," where Hall trades his drum kit for a piano as the other two wind around him in elliptical fashion. More and more Public Eyesore is beginning to look like ground zero for the new wave of American free jazz and noise.... -RKF

(Broken Face no. 13) Another recent arrival from Public Eyesore is the free-floating free jazz ensemble Khoury*Shearer*Hall's Insignia. We get the kind of jazz a label like Ecstatic Yod and some of the most out there New Zealanders seem to dig, and that's part of the genre that is particularly close to my heart as well. This Detroit trio is comprised of violinist Mike Khoury, percussionist Ben Hall, and saxophonist Jason Shearer, and they deliver intuitive and inspired improvisation played with the heart much more than with the brain. The players are jamming in search of those moments of magic interaction, and there is plenty of just that. Particularly stunning is the subtle meeting of violin and sax in "Tears for Detroit" and the alienating "Last Date." One of the finest free jazz records of 2001. - Mats Gustafsson

(All Music Guide) The sonic metaphor for organized chaos is certainly something that Mike Khoury, Ben Hall, and Jason Shearer have successfully achieved with their collaborative recording Insignia. Free jazz, improvised music, and even some post-jazz boppers will certainly enjoy this strangely evocative recording of sonic disturbance and musical metaphor. Mike Khoury, Ben Hall, and Jason Shearer, on violin, percussion, and saxophone respectively, have created a strangely unique recording that in places captures the essence of “live” improvised music, while in other places creates something that seems to emanate from the post-tonal collective mind of musical academia at large. It’s tough to say that this is a great recording to listen to, rather one experiences this recording, much like the later and more cerebral works of Edgar Varese, or any of the work of the far out jazz master from the nether realm Sun Ra, whose music, at it’s most fundamental level caused quite a stir. This is an interesting recording, but verily one that would be a much better experience “live”. Also, as all of these recordings are done “live” Insignia gives some insight into the “live” inner workings Mike Khoury, Ben Hall, and Jason Shearer. - Matt Borghi

(Improjazz no. 83) Le trio formé de Ben Hall(perp,p), Mike Khoury(vln), et Jason Shearer(s, cl, fl), en dépit de l'intéressante présence du violon, propose, danse Insignia, Nr. 34, un aimable free jazz paradoxalement tenu et décousu qui peut évoquer certaines 'ambiances CIMP' (la prise de son peut-être...) mais qui peine à emporter l'adhesion. - Guillaume Tarche

(I Am Cancer) free jazz / jazz never felt so good. all nine tracks seem to have been recorded live, or atleast at diffrent times and places, and with mainly the same trio, playing mainly the same instruments. ben hall (percussion) / mike khoury (violin) / jason shearer (saxophone). with some exceptions of tracks containing flute or piano. definitaly an attack on the senses. turn it up to 11, and you just might find yourself with an ulcer or a spliting headache. best when played down low. although the order is jumbled as far as dates, places, and times they flow together surprisingly well. sometimes sticking to a structure of sorts, while often other times steering clear of said structure, and just bleeding the instruments dry. quite captivating. makes me feel like i lost my keys. - Chris Fischer

(Aural Innovations no. 23) Mike Khoury (violin), Jason Shearer (saxophone, clarinet, flute) and Ben Hall (drums, piano) are Michigan based musicians who play a highly melodic and expressive style of free-jazz. The music is firmly in the avant free-improv realm but is far more accessible than abstract. Throughout the set the violin and saxophone prove to be perfect partners, and Khoury's violin holds it own against the power of the sax. The trio excel at both wild playful jams and slow narrative statements that have an almost vocal feel. There's nothing noisy about this music, even at its most frenzied. My favorite parts are the fast paced but low key tunes in which the musicians are seemingly everywhere at once though the low volume and elusive intensity make it easy to focus on the excellent individual performances and realize what outstanding musicians these three are. The 11 minute "International" is a standout track that begins with some very nice harmonizing between the violin and sax. The trio is augmented by Maury Coles on second saxophone and the quartet soon take off into free-improv bliss land and do their frenzied dance before slowing the pace once again to resume their melodic recitation. The addition of Coles naturally adds a fuller sound which surprisingly doesn't bury Khoury's violin. Throughout the set we also hear a lot of wild Carl Stallings cartoonish stylings, particularly on my favorite track, "8 Mile, Between Woodward And 75". Shearer switches instruments on a couple tunes, picking up the clarinet for "Last Date" and flute for "Six And Lodge". And Hall leaves his drum kit to sit down at the piano bench on "Grand River AT M.A.C", though he's disappointingly buried by the violin and wailing sax. Overall an excellent set of well thought out free-jazz with a composed feel and played by proficient, expressive musicians. - Jerry Kranitz

(Blastitude no. 9) As is often the case with Public Eyesore, I don't know who these guys are or where they come from. Well, I do know they come from Detroit, which should really be enough. It makes sense that Detroit would have some cookin' free jazz going on, and this definitely fits the bill. In fact, this is the first free jazz group I've heard to specifically remind me of Test, in that head/solo/solo/solo/head is not the order of the day, rather a free-floating nebulous thing where everyone seems to be spontaneously composing and chattering and weaving all at once, so instead of head then solo then solo then solo then head it's more like SOHEADLO. You know what I mean? And, I don't mean that they're derivative of Test, I just think that when it comes to subtle tectonic shifts in the surface of current jazz music, Khoury/Shearer/Hall and Test are on the same fault line, a small fissure which extends from New York City to Detroit (and then all the way to Christchurch, New Zealand due to rumblings from the CM Ensemble) and isn't really occupied by anyone else. Besides, Khoury/Shearer/Hall have a lineup different than Test, with Mike Khoury on violin, Jason Shearer on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, and Ben Hall on percussion (and piano on one track, barely audible but worth it). The violin is a sort of rarely used free jazz instrument, and Khoury ends up being the best I've heard on the instrument since Leroy Jenkins. (I've never really heard Billy Bang.) This album is sort of a compilation of/introduction to the group, a mixture of live and studio tracks. I especially like track three, which starts slow/introspective and exquisitely gets faster/extrospective over the course of ten minutes. (For this piece they become a quartet, joined by one Maury Coles on saxophone.) And P.S., in a rather neat coincidence, I just realized that Jason Shearer of this trio also got mentioned on the very previous page, as a sideman on the Sound Signature CD. Crazy... - Matt Silcock

(Eld Rich Palmer no.10) That a free jazz album appears in the catalogue of a noise artist Brain Day's own label provokes insinuations about the character of the record. Is there any chance that it is different from Zorn/Harris grinding jazz fury? That sort of playing would be on a proper way to the heart of a mere Public Eyesore's customer, but (un)fortunately it is not! "insignia" is the compilation of the best studio and live recordings the trio made in 2000. In spite of very dynamic features that free jazz as a style is characterized with, their music is quiet and often moody. The preferences to playing a chamber music seem to be a natural consequence of the choice of instrumentation--honestly, it is very hard to make a noise wall on acoustic instruments like drum kit, sax, violin, clarinet, piano or flute. Even if the opening track suggests otherwise--a tumult and passionately expressed emotions last very shortly giving a way to rather traditional approach to jazz (oh, do not consider me as a professional jazz reviewer, please--I am far from that!). The musicians are jamming in searching of nuances and sensual moods--lightly hitting drum, scratching or brushings cords by violinist and warm sax solos, playing together or making solo meditations over a lone sound--their temperaments find their way in twisty improvisations that a skilled listener could more appreciate and enjoy than myself. Indeed, I feel lost in the lengths of tracks and their meanders, so I prefer at the moment to listen to "insignia" in a few takes. This is the only way I can handle with the record to catch some pleasant moments. - Krzysztof Sadza

(Vital Weekly no. 319) Insignia goes down with the free jazzers. One Ben Hall on percussion, Mike Khoury on violin and Jason Shearor on saxophone and clarinet offer us nine of their selections, all captured in concert. Hectic music as one can expect. Plucking their strings, with free percussion and the saxophone blowing all over the place. Occassionally the hectic drops and the boys are in a elancholical mood, such as the opening of 'International'. I can imagine that this might be too free for some of you, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. It's not the kind of music I'd like to fill my days with, but every once in a while I'd like to put this kind of music on. - Frans de Waard

(Cadence vol. 29 no. 2) The trio of MIKE KHOURY (vin), JASON SHEARER (ts, cl, flt), and BEN HALL (perc) play fairly robust "free Jazz" mold on INSIGNIA. The majority of these pieces are loosely plotted with feels or pulses and rely on the musicians' instrumental energy to bring them to life. Thankfully, these fellows are up to the task (as is Maury Coles, who adds his saxophone to "international"). Khoury is a fairly exciting violinist(with a slashing style that recalls Billy Bang), and his tandem with Shearer's honking is fun, if fairly predictable. "Suzie's Blues" and "International" are intense, chaotic workouts, while "Panties" has a jittery, mid-60s Ornette feel to it. "Last Date" is a nice impressionistic piece, where Shearer's clarinet melds well to the violin's overtones. Certainly not a bad session, and it has much to recommend it... - Jason Bivins

(Dream no. 3) This collection of 9 live improvisations between violinist Mike Khoury, Sax player Jason Shearer and percussionist Ben Hall recorded throughout 2000, is a real treat. Ranging from the conversational to the frantic. This is a real interaction, not machines on autodrive or egos au-go-go; it’s obvious these guys are listening to and reacting to one another in a lively and eloquently playful manner. Some pieces sound like a particularly stoned orchestra tuning up; woozy dosed chamber music that wigs out gently and recomposes itself like orgami that folds and unfolds itself into hundreds of different shapes, but always returns to the shape of a violin, saxophone and drums. Wild but quite moody and accessible for free jazz; in fact several pieces are sustained moody explorations and all are a delight to listen to as Hall’s drumming shimmers and flies around the rhythms like an artfully spastic butterfly, Shearer mumbles, enunciates, sings, warbles and wails on his sax and Khoury bows, plucks, strangles and carresses his violin in an ecstatic manner. - George Parsons

(Neo-Zine no. 17) A three piece improv acid jazz evening featuring schizophrenic music salad and free form sound babble. Includes saxophone, violin, percussion, clarinet, piano, and flute. Ideas are caught like butterflies in ungraceful flight... then thrown back into the wind never to be caught again. It can be quite beautiful. Its never dull, because everyone is on the spot. This renders the cold hard precision of the studio nil and brings exciting life. - CHC

(Komakino) I'm going to dedicate several paragraphies to an american label called Public Eyesore, whom sent me ten Artists' cd from Their catalogue, ranging from gorgeous free jazz and ambient improvisation to japanoise Music. - Let's start with Insignia, by Khoury*Shearer*Hall, passion and gift of three improvisers (from Michigan, i guess), pure free jazz, perfect and fresh tangle of percussions, violin and saxophone, - also seeing piano and flute on a couple of magic pieces. 9 impressive tracks for about 6o minutes, - recorded (encroyable performances!!) live, - fantastic empathy of these great Musicians, pure spontaneity meeting eccentricity, an im_possible try to give rhythmic to the chaos of each talented solo, secret understanding and interaction between these men, Their schizophrenia. Tears for Detroit opens with a slow cold nocturnal fog created by sax and violin, - 8 Mile Between Woodward and 75 sounds as a sax-masterpiece.. Click here, to listen an excerpt of the opening track Shotgun (orgasmic!) or here for Panties. - I love playing this cd on my stereo. - It costs 11$, get in touch with Bryan Day. - Paolo Miceli

(Marion Daily Republican) Mike Khoury, Jason Shearer, and Ben Hall find a unique place among new jazz with "Insignia," their first release with Public Eyesore Records. "Insignia" treats listeners to cool sounds, delicate interplay between horns and percussion, and also takes fantastic dips into the realms of "free jazz." Nevertheless, "Insignia" remains free of the burdensome song length often forced on fans of the genre, making their "point" fast, and getting out with the listener still actively engaged. Most interesting is the presence of Khoury's violin, which holds its place remarkably well along Shearer's saxophone lines. All in all, an amazing musical document. - DaveX

(Aiding & Abetting no. 231) This trio (Hall on percussion, Khoury on violin and Shearer on winds) works its way through a sprightly set of decidedly free jazz. It sounds to me like the genesis of the pieces was improvisational, and they evolved over time to a somewhat more static form. I really don't have any info to support that inference; I'm just guessing here. Perhaps the main themes were blocked out, leaving room for improvisation (a well-worn jazz writing technique). And perhaps I'll have to renege on that free jazz appellation. There's quite a bit of structure here, though the boys still don't adhere to any particular tradition I'm familiar with at all. Recorded at a number of locations, this album doesn't have a perfectly consistent sound. Some studios and concert locations are better than others, and it's easy to hear the difference between stops. Not distracting, though, just a point of interest. The endlessly inventive minds of this trio are what really impress me. Each piece here is worthy, and the set as a whole is almost impossible rich in ideas and strong performances. A delight for the intellectual listener. - Jon Worley

(Indieville 12/15/2002) As the holiday season soon approaches, it is clear that this year's hot ticket, as far as gift-giving goes, is the collaboration between free jazzists Ben Hall, Mike Khoury, and Jason Shearer. Packed full of energetic, tension-heavy free jazz pieces, Insignia is one of the most enjoyable improv releases to come out in a while. On the nine tracks of Insignia, Ben Hall plays percussion (and occasionally piano), Mike Khoury plays violin, and Jason Shearer plays saxophone, clarinet, and flute. The results of the collaboration are nothing less than hectic. Though occasionally their sound becomes quieter and more subtle, the majority of Insignia is spent with the artists either excitingly blasting away at their instruments, or masterfully building tension. In fact, Insignia is all about tension. "Six and Lodge" is a good example of this - as Hall's spastic percussion pops and crashes along in the background, Khoury's violin strokes slowly poke at the listener's ears, going back and forth and back and forth until all of the sudden Shearer comes in with a flute and messes things up, causing the violin to suddenly go insane. The chain reaction is interesting, and the music is completely amazing. It's the stuff that free jazz fans go crazy for. Other tracks are similarly enjoyable. "Shotgun," perhaps an allusion to Peter Brotzmann's classic "Machine Gun" piece, is an exciting, energetic romp that's filled with mile-a-minute sax slurs, freaked-out dashes of the violin strings, and destructive percussive insanity. "Last Date," on the other hand, is a mysterious, dark track that features clarinet in the foreground. The mere hints of cymbals and violin in the background help build the eerie background, and it maintains this tense, creepy atmosphere until the very end. Altogether, Insignia is a fantastic free jazz album that should appeal to most improv fans out there. The inclusion of violin, an instrument not often found in jazz music, adds an original element to the sound. Recommended. - Matt Shimmer

(Ampersand Etcetera 2002_10) An album of surprisingly enjoyable jazz improvisation – Khoury on violoin, Shearer sax, clarinet and flute and Hall drums (and piano) recorded at a number of concerts in Michigan during the first 8 months of 2000. Surprisingly because sax and violins can be horribly abused to create tortured tones and strange squawks. But the majority of sounds here are very melodious. Hall provides a strong rhythm support, with a short solo in 'Tears for detroit', and is generally low in the mix – unfairly so I think, but perhaps that is the fate of a drummer. But in 'Grand river at M.A.C.' where he plays the piano, it is almost too soft to really hear which is a shame as the group works at varying their textures and this would have been an interesting variation – what you can hear is intriguing. 'Shotgun' – a short burst of blowy sax and scraping violin, ending in a sax solo, then a restrained 'Suzie's blues' with long notes from both instruments, dueting, the violin picking at times and some jolly sax. A lyrical double dose of sax in 'International' when they are joined by Maury Coles – the violin supporting a range of saxophone approaches that are woven together: wild melodic and blurting across time. Beautiful sax/violin harmonies in 'Tears for detroit' shifting to sax riffs over violin melodies then returning to harmonies before the drum solo, then a slow instrumental return. Lighthearted and bright 'Panties' has short noted almost gypsy violin, jolly sax and jaunty drums, followed by mellow clarinet in 'Last date' leaning to drones with cymbals and more playful violin. Another tone enters in 'Six and lodge' where Shearer plays the flute, trilling along in a percussive piece with fast violin and quite full drum – it explores a quieter phase in the middle and then rebuilds. Sax to the fore again in '8 mile between woodward and 75' that rolls along quite squiggly over rolling drums, with a more gentle closing solo, before a building climax in 'Grand river at M.A.C.' Part of the pleasure of this album is the integration of the three talents, who are all obviously skilled but display it through the restraint and musicality of their playing, while still being exuberant and challenging. Quite a joy. - Jeremy Keens

(Touching Extremes) Intelligent and various, "Insigna" marks my first meeting with these musicians. Main instruments used are woodwinds, violin and percussion; this record's beginning induced your writer to think about a typical "modern free jazz" situation - but this is not the case. In a word, what you got here is not blowouts, but mostly pieces that are thoughtfully played and have a spacial and dynamic quality that renders them almost like they were written in advance. This kind of feeling is usually the best compliment one can do when listening to improvisations - and it's the one sign you can endure and enjoy the whole album. For sure, one of this label's best releases and something to keep an eye on if you're into this artistic area. - Massimo Ricci

(Jazzosphere no. 16) Mike Khoury est peu connu du grand public. Pourtant, ce jeune musicien possède un cursus des plus remarquables. Engagé depuis quelques années dans les musiques créatives, il a joué notamment avec Luc Houtkamp, Blaise Siwula, le percussionniste français Lê Quan Ninh ou encore le contrebassiste John Lindberg. Fondateur de l'excellent label Entropy Stereo Recordings, ce violoniste d'origine palestinienne n'arrête pas de nous étonner. Cet album, produit de manière confidentielle, nous permet de le voir en trio aux côtés du saxophoniste Jason Shearer et du percussionniste Ben Hall. On regrettera une prise de son qui ne met pas en évidence toutes les qualités de cette formation mais l'essentiel reste la musique elle-même. Celle-ci alterne un free léger, voire planant, en total décalage par rapport à ce qui peut se faire sur la scène des Grands Lacs, avec un jeu en perpétuel mouvement. Cette musique est jouée avec le cœur, avec cette envie de construire quelque chose de tangible. L'un des moments phares de l'album réside dans cette pièce intrigante et envoûtante « Last Date » qui démontre les qualités de ces trois bricoleurs acharnés. L'album impose, au fur et à mesure que les pièces s'enchaînent, un climat, une atmosphère, une sonorité bien démarquée et c'est en cela que l'on reconnaît le pouvoir d'attraction - et la réussite - de cet album. Le saxophoniste - et chroniqueur occasionnel - Mats Gustafsson disait récemment de cet album qu'il était l'un des meilleurs de la scène free de l'année. On n'est pas loin de penser cela et l'on attend de voir la suite avec une curiosité non dissimulée. - Sebastien Moig

(Improvijazzation Nation no. 59) I had the good fortune to watch these gents live at Entropy Studios, where much of this was recorded. Shearer's improvised sax is crystal clear, as it often was when I listened to them at Entropy. The recording also features some great violin work by Mike Khoury, & very well-recorded drums by Ben Hall. The trio was instrumental in keeping th' "scene" going, through Entropy, but it's very apparent from listening to this CD that their true love & passion is devoted to creative energy. VERY clear production makes for a listening experience far above average for improvised music(s). I rate this as MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those listeners who want a little bit of "surprise" in their aural experience. - Rotcod Zzaj


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