The Songlines AnthologySGL 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, Allmusic.com
“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