Various Artists

The Songlines Anthology

SGL 4201-2

A must for Songlines completists, the Anthology consists almost entirely of tracks  unavailable elsewhere. There are alternate takes by Dave Douglas’s Tiny Bell Trio in concert, Ellery Eskelin (also a live performance), Andy Laster’s Hydra, the Patrick Zimmerli Ensemble), BABKAS, and the Ben Monder Trio. There’s an improvisation by Vancouver pianist Paul Plimley and one by clarinettist François Houle (from a duo session with Vancouver percussionist Andreas Kahre). There’s also an improv of Houle playing with the Paris-based trio The Recyclers (featuring Benoît Delbecq), and an interactive piece for computer and gamelan instruments by Canadian composer Matt Rogalsky. The Anthology has been programmed as a continuous listening experience; for those who are interested in the processes of creating new jazz-based music in the ’90s it should also make for some interesting comparisons.


****1/2 “This is the right way for a label to record an anthology of tracks featuring its artists…The exquisite production and extensive liner notes with full discographical information and bonus bibliography make this a ‘must-buy’ for lovers of adventurous jazz…With a lineup of that caliber, it is no wonder Songlines has emerged as one of the world’s up-and-coming small jazz labels. Kudos to producer Tony Reif for fulfilling an ambitious vision.” — Steven A. Loewy,

“This collection has a lot of everything that makes the label distinctive.” — Andy Bartlett, Earshot Jazz

“Musical connections and overlapping personnel create a textural mosaic of the label and its approach to sound…Reif’s choices reveal a pronounced awareness of the many stylistic currents — structured improvisation, punkish slash and burn, European atonal and folk, Stockhausian sculptural — that inform the new jazz.” — Josef Murphy, 5/4 Magazine

“Their music works with textures, extended instrumental techniques, and a deliberate blurring of the line between composition and improvisation…A superb introduction to a wide range of very active performers, with choice examples, presented with excellent sonics and informative notes.” — Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

jazz, avant jazz, contemporary classical, third stream
  1. This (alternate take): BABKAS
  2. Where Have I (alternate take): Patrick Zimmerli Ensemble
  3. Méandre: François Houle & Andreas Kahre
  4. Tic, Tics: Human Feel
  5. Lactophobia (alternate take): Ben Monder Trio
  6. Polyogue (alternate take)Andy Laster’s Hydra
  7. Houle: The Recyclers
  8. Untitled One (live): Ellery Eskelin
  9. Song (without words): Matt Rogalsky
  10. Persistence of the Dragon: Paul Plimley
  11. Head-on Kouvlodsko (live)Dave Douglas’ Tiny Bell Trio
  • Compositions/music by Brad Shepik (1), Patrick Zimmerli (2), Houle/Kahre (3); Jim Black (4), Ben Monder (5), Andy Laster (6), Steve Argüelles/Benoît Delbecq/Noël Akchoté/François Houle (7), Ellery Eskelin (8), Matt Rogalsky (9), Paul Plimley (10), Dave Douglas (11)
  • Release Date
    March 04, 1996