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Emerging Field

Emerging Field marks the sixth release of Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers on the Entropy Stereo label. This release finds the group exploring rhythm and space in a broader sense than previous offerings. Faruq Z. Bey, Mike Carey, and Skeeter Shelton create thoughtful space and intricate conversations in their horn lines evoking
a relaxed and passionate response with a solid blues focus. Mike Johnston and Nick Ashton root the group with their sound rhythmic foundation. The track Mokondi brings out the strength of this rhythm section. Mike Gilmore floats in and out of the music with vibes and marimba reminding one of some of the fantastic work of the late Walt Dickerson. Among the highlights are Carey's arrangement of Ornette Coleman's Beauty is a Rare Thing, and Mike Johnston's Tenere'..





Bobby Bradford Extet (1977)
Midnight Pacific Airwaves CD

A rare recording from an under recorded period of Bobby Bradford's music. This date stems from a California radio broadcast. The line up
is Bobby on trumpet, James Newton (flute), Richard Rehwald (bass)
and John Goldsmith (drums). Includes a bonus track duet with Vinny Golia (clarinet) from a 2003 gig.

















Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers

Journey into the Valley DVD/CD

Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers
Journey into the Valley DVD/CD

A film by:
Timothy O'Brien and Andrew Bare
New DVD/CD Entropy Stereo ESR 017
DVD includes;

• 1 hour feature live music performance
• 3 bonus songs
• 3 interviews
• 3 poetry pieces
• slide show (plus more)
• bonus cd of 6 tracks taken from the dvd (same sound mixes)

DVD is designed to play in all regions in all countries.

"Once a member of Detroit legends Griot Galaxy, Bey's take on jazz is informed by the spectral divinations of Sun Ra, and pieces like "Moors" and "sherrif Sam (Sound By Law)" remind you of prime era Arkestra, floating between beautifully extended melody heads and stretches of languid free blowing, all underpinned by a steady, rolling rhythm section."
Jon Dale; Signal To Noise Fall 2008

"If this were merely an audio CD, it would garner excellent reviews. But this set with DVD and CD and all of the extra features becomes something well worth checking out. The Northwoods Improvisers and Entropy Stereo are to be credited for doing this right." Robert Iannapollo; Cadence OCT/NOV/DEC 2008

"Mostly, though, the band is incredibly tight and fleshes out arrangements like the stately Tunisian whirl of "In the Valley" with uncommon poise. This schooled reverence is likely wholly in response to the history and weight sprung forth from players like Bey and Shelton, who are far from household names in contemporary improvisation, but whose groundwork the Northwoods Improvisers will doubtless expand upon for years to come." by; Clifford Allen All About Jazz 2009

Selected Honorable mention for album of the year. All About Jazz 2008








Trevor Watts and Jamie Harris


On Ancestry, Trevor approaches improvisation in a more stripped down approach with percussionist Jamie Harris. Both Watts and Harris combine an incredible sense of rhythm with exploration and subtlety. The recordings were culled from live performances and more intimate settings at Trevor's home studio to give a balance of the high energy of performance and relaxed musical exploration between friends. The end result is a stunning document of duo interplay on various hand percussion and reed instruments.

"Pan-Asian subtltles and bold clarity blend perfectly with ‘60s innovations in music that is somehow both dense and accessible. The continuous flow of sound is a wonder to hear as circular breathing is complemented perfectly by changing rhythmic cycles. This is a partnership not to be missed, summing up Watts's long-fostered musical concerns with new clarity." - Marc Medwin -













Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers featuring
Mike Carey and Skeeter Shelton

Faruq Z. Bey returns with his third effort on Entropy Stereo, Auzar.  Auzar features the three horn lineup of Bey, Michael Carey and Skeeter Shelton, representing the first time Bey has recorded with the three horn line up since his days with his seminal Detroit group Griot Galaxy.  Representing a clear evolution from Bey's last two efforts 19 Moons and Ashirai Pattern, Auzar features a unified ensemble sound with an emphasis on unique rhythmic and harmonic possibilities.  Bey contributes three compositions to the disc. Faruq Z. Bey and the Northwoods Improvisers comprise a natural joining of mind and soul on Auzar in their strongest effort yet. Featuring the composition Zycron by Tani Tabbal.

"All music is acoustic" is a claim on 'Auzar', Northwoods Improvisers' latest CD. This is a claim they had made on every possible occasion in the past. Definitively, this is a climate they work best in. Without argument, their warm style lends itself to a purely acoustic environment the best. 'Gemini' is a ferocious way to start off any record. With its blend of late-Coltrane styling, Mike Carey and Faruq Z. Bey engage in a vicious duel that lasts most of the piece. It's interesting to hear how Mike Gilmore tries to slip in his marimba styling beneath this man-made tornado. The record itself [as any Northwoods Improvisers record] has this driving rhythm to it, this sense of direction that is just so catchy and infectious." -- Tom Sekowski,



Sold Out!










Dennis Gonzalez New Southern Quintet

Old Time Revival

Features Tim Green, Andrew Lamb, Alvin Fielder, and Malachi Favors.

Although the collective talents of the group are probably well known to followers of this music, this recording is arguably up there with Gonzalez's Silkheart dates. This is largely due to the strength of the compositional frameworks, which provide the musicians with breathing room for personal expression, yet contain compelling blocks of melodicism. Take the record's opener, "The Matter At Hand": Favors' sturdy vamp and Fielder's shifting drumwork set the stage for an inspired round of solos, commencing with reedist Tim Green's saxello. Not so fast, though, as the rhythm section changes course upon Gonzalez's entrance, causing the proceedings to enter into a mystical, yet restless realm. Tenor saxophonist Andrew Lamb solos next, a player who consistently unleashes statements of unbridled energy that capture the fury and passion of the record's aims without blowing the congregation down. These swirling rhythms also appear on the next track, "Document For Charles Brackeen", a tenor-based foray that highlights the different mannerisms of both Lamb and Green, who bookend a lyrically-inspired Gonzalez solo that embodies the airiness of the surroundings. The final track, "Old Time Revival", is a processional hymn, a swinger that is highlighted by a smoking solo from Gonzalez that comes as a surprise after his other silvery-toned excursions. -Jay Collins, One Final Note.














Faruq Z. Bey w/ Northwoods Improvisers

Ashirai Pattern

A diverse follow up to their 19 Moons release of 2002. The groups has added longtime Bey collaborator Mike Carey (flute/tenor saxophone) to the ensemble. Ashirai Pattern embodies a higher spiritual plane and elements of mysticism in an aural feast. Instrumentation includes vibes, marimba, voice, bass, drums, tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet, violin, and percussion.

"The Michigan-based Northwoods Improvisers collective meld the largely undefined sounds of world music with jazz stylizations. Here, multi-reedman Faruq Z. Bey of the Detroit area band Griot Galaxy resides as the featured soloist. Vibist Mike Gilmore and the percussionists' swarming rhythms -- featuring standard drums and worldly instruments -- provide the generally brimful undercurrents. On the opening piece, titled "Mathnawi," the band jumps out of the gate with a peppery ostinato groove, largely due to Mike Johnson's well-defined acoustic basslines. Bey resides as a forceful presence throughout, evidenced by his soul-searching choruses, wrapped around a robust tenor sax tone. At times, memories of latter-day Coltrane come to mind. And while the artists do not reinvent the proverbial wheel, this effort is brimming with motivated performances consisting of swirling pulses and a distinct sense of fluency. It's an up-tempo extravaganza that adheres to the free jazz idiom, accented by a series of abstracts and torrid flows. Moreover, Gilmore's vibe work nicely contrasts his fellow soloists' lofty excursions, while richly stated textures abound in concert with the group's soulful approach to free-form inclinations".-- Glenn Astarita, All Music Guide















Kalaparush and The Light

The Moment

Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre provides us with a rare glimpse into his live performance. Perhaps one of the most influential and under-recorded artists of the AACM, Kalaparush is joined by Ravish Momin on percussion and Jesse Dulman on tuba. Jesse's tuba recalls the pre-bass second line of jazz music and Ravish provides worldly polyrhythmic sequences. All of the playing comes together with the elegance of Kalaparush's compositions and improvisations. Recorded at one night's performance in Detroit. Entropy Stereo is pleased to provide a unique live document of a master saxophonist and composer.

"On The Moment, founding AACM sax player Kalaparush is accompanied by a much younger (and quite able) rhythm section formed of tuba player Jesse Dulman and drummer Ravish Momin. The tuba is a paradoxical instrument in jazz. Notoriously difficult to play and a lot less flexible than the double bass, it nevertheless conveys a sense of joy and fun like no other instrument. What you lose in precision (listen to Dulman's solo introduction to "Irene Calypso") you gain in momentum and festive spirit. Which means that The Moment works best in the fast-paced, groovy numbers and gets precarious in slower, more introspective tunes like "I Don't Have an Answer, Unless It's God." Kalaparush plays his horn AACM style, with spirit, fire, grace, and a strong melodic sense. Recorded on November 30, 2001, at Entropy Studios, in front of a small but appreciative audience, this live set begins with "Hangin' By a Threadgil" (obviously dedicated to Henry Threadgill), a lively piece that immediately establishes how well Kalaparush has aged and how much fun he's having playing with younger cats. But the undisputed highlight of the album is "Big Coltrane Indian Man," a ferocious tune in which Momin gets a feature spot and literally brings the house down. His polyrhythmic playing borrows something from the frenzy of a tabla player without ever leaving the jazz realm. His drums propel the trio to a peak of excitement that is alone worth the price of admission. One wishes that Kalaparush's on-stage banter had been better recorded or left out, since one can barely make out his words, but otherwise this is one of the great jazz albums of 2003." ~ Francois Couture, All Music Guide



Griot Galaxy

Live at the D.I.A. 2xCD

For nearly two decades Griot Galaxy was at the vanguard of the Detroit Music scene. Members of the band performed and recorded with Roscoe Mitchell, Sun Ra, Abdullah Ibrahim and Phil Cohran. The fact that there were only two releases of the band under their own name during this period seems criminal. Entropy Stereo is pleased to present this complete concert performance at the Detroit Institute of Arts from 1983. Beautifully recorded, this is Griot Galaxy at their peak. Griot Galaxy was Faruq Z. Bey, Tani Tabbal, Jaribu Shahid, Tony Holland and David McMurray













Faruq Z. Bey w/ Northwoods Improvisers

19 Moons

Z. Bey has been on the Detroit scene for many years. His work with Griot Galaxy speaks for itself. Faruq brings us some of his richest reed work to date with the Northwoods Improvisers. Together they explore rhythms, improvisation, and sound in it's purest sense. A classic case of the whole being greater the sum of it's parts. Instrumentation includes bass, vibes, drums, saxophone.

"The Northwoods Improvisers have been pursuing their own singular musical vision for many years, but in recent times their work has been changing. On their latest release they are joined by tenor and alto saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey, invoking Griot Galaxy and the heyday of Detroit new music (Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers, 19 Moons, Entropy Stereo). The regular Northwoods trio of Mike Gilmore (vibes, bone guitar), Mike Johnston (bass), and Nick Ashton (drums) stretch their musical horizons here, working into drones and grooves as Bey intones and preaches on his singing saxophones. Bey's musical roots lie in the sixties and his sax playing is very much the late-Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders incantatory mode and it works very well against the more abstract backgrounds provided by the trio. The result is an infectious, highly spiritual music. On two tracks Len Bukowski joins the foursome on the contra-alto clarinet, providing effective deep drones, and on "Fountain" they are augmented by the tambura of Patrick Boyer" -- Piotr Michalowski, South East Michigan Jazz Association









Northwoods Improvisers


Branches represents a slightly different approach for the group. While the Northwoods have collectively used a wide variety of instruments on previous recordings, here they choose to explore the possibilities with the marimba, bass, and drum combination. The album opens with the original composition "Kuntu" which launches into a high energy 7/8 African groove. In fact, rhythms are the key to Branches. Throughout this rich music we hear a generous amount of rhythmic variation, odd time signatures, and polyrhythmic overlays. Another highlight is "Escarpment" an extended piece that draws on the group's free roots and recalls the Art Ensembles' use of sound, space and rhythm. The Northwoods offer a nod to South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) with their recording of "Ishmael" The Northwoods' treatment of "Ishmael" is as subtle and reverent as their treatment of Sun Ra's God
is more than Love could ever be. (Lightning Darkness).

$16 ppd







Wendell Harrison

The 8th House; Riding with Pluto

The 8th House is a disc of solo clarinet and saxophone improvisations with a few duets with Juma Santos thrown in. Wendell Harrison and the Tribe were pioneers along with BAG in St. Louis and the AACM in Chicago. Here Wendell recalls some of the freedom and soul from his early work with the Tribe in Detroit. He is joined by percussionist Juma Santos on a few tracks. You may recall Juma from his work with Miles Davis on the Bitches Brew record, or some of his work with Marion Brown.

"Ex-member of famed '70s Detroit group The Tribe, saxophonist and clarinetist Harrison courageously treads cosmic waters alone with a monosyllabic instrument in an exploration of freedom and purity, riff-walking in naked space with only an occasional conga/bongo mojo contributed by Juma Santos -- known for work on Miles Davis's Bitches Brew album.  All nine tracks were laid down on first take, stream-of-consciousness style, following the Kerouacian belief that one's first idea is always the best and, as Jack would say, "dictated by the Holy Ghost."   "Jazz on the Run" is a burning percussive odyssey that smelts popping rankled note vines of Harrison's tenor sax into Santos's voodoo tribal groove. At times, you can hear Harrison attempting to stretch beyond the doors of mortality, trying to cop a peek at his eternal destination.  The Eighth House is shadowed, mystic music of the moment; one man's harmonic quest to unlock Rudnyar's "wondrous equation of destiny" with a skeleton key -- his horn." -Christopher Bahnsen,

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Northwoods Improvisers

Stargarden is a warm work with a large degree of closeness.The Northwoods pay homage to Takemitsu and offer up some of their finest working of ragas yet. Hand made covers. Limited edition. SOLD OUT.

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$16 ppd



Luc Houtkamp

Luc Houtkamp in Chicago

This disc represents the first American release for Dutch saxophonist Luc Houtkamp. Here, he appears with Chicago stalwarts Kent Kessler (double bass) and Michael Zerang (drums) in a 1997 studio date. Liner notes by Ken Vandermark, and artwork by Northwoods' Mike Johnston."

"Houtkamp often showcases an aural dictionary of multiphonics complete with echoing tongue slaps, colored hissing and speedy key pops, adding the coagulated vibrato of every bar-walking saxophonist's nightmare. Imagine Archie Shepp's slurred buzz playing a version of "Yakity Sax" and you'll come up with how he sounds on some tracks. Other times Houtkamp produces heavy, unaccompanied split tones for several unrelieved minutes. Still elsewhere his dense note-sounding will be so steady that it reminds you of the electronic pulses he manipulates on other sessions or of a musical vacuum cleaner sucking every sound out of the air."
Ken Waxman, aaJazz Weekly

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$16 ppd



Jon Rose

Fringe Benefits 2xCD

Two CD's (almost 150 minutes) worth of archival material from the 70's and 80's handpicked by Jon Rose with detailed liner notes. The music constitutes his experimental work in Australia with many home made instruments.



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Northwoods Improvisers

Lightning Darkness

The opener, "Lightning Darkness" is at times eerie and tense. Vibes and various percussion instruments steer the way into dark, mysterious places featuring rich yet varied tonal colors, which emit a sense of unsettlement or nervousness. "Rainbow" features a discernible backbeat and a quaint melody thanks to Mike Johnston's appealing utilization of the Bone Guitar. "Black Ice" is pure improv, highlighted by an assortment of percussion instruments, Cello and Mike Johnston's linear attack on Acoustic Bass which functions as the group's traffic cop. On Sun Ra's "God is More Than Love Could Ever Be" Mike Gilmore's fluid and adept vibes approach helps work this Sun Ra original into an ethereal and laid back jazz motif. This piece eventually develops into a full-fledged improvisation led by Nick Ashton's creative and purposeful drumming which adds a significant amount of drama to the composition. "Tariquah" is built around Eastern motifs featuring the Cheng, Bowed Banjo and Wood Flute. ~ Glenn Astarita

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Bailey, Stevens and Watts

Dynamics of the Impromptu

These pieces run the gamut from whispery low key musings through enraging or boisterous call and response. The moods constantly shift and evolve as Watts, Bailey and Stevens purvey musical structures that defy logic. Emotions flare up as in "Impromptu Dynamics #6". Arguments or debates are imminent. The sensibilities of unity and collaboration resurface as the music seems to transcend conventional ideology or acceptable agendas. ~ Glenn Astarita

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Remote Viewing Ensemble


The Remote Viewing Ensemble are a Michigan based experimental or avant-garde group and feature such instrumentation as: Prepared Guitar, Tapes, Cheng, Bone Guitar and Wood Flutes to cite but a few. This band also takes on another identity, which is The Northwoods Improvisors (see AAJ May 99 review).

"This collective of experimentalists dabble in many different genres, some of which may be considered "World" or cross-cultural music yet the gist or perhaps motivational forces gravitates towards free-thinking communal activity. Within these 6 pieces, RVE take the listener on a musical journey, which touches many areas, mainly through percussion and/or subliminal suggestion. The music is at times peaceful, thought provoking, somber and moving but not always in a direct or obvious way. RVE summon the mind?s eye as we may exercise our imaginations and come to our own personal conclusions. Glimpses of rain forests or a hilltop in India came to mind at various times throughout this recording; although, this writer has been to neither. Thats the beauty of it...! Bare in mind, this is not Adult Contemporary Instrumental music. RVE offer subtle complexities, clever implementation of foreign sounding instruments while intelligently utilizing electronics and tape loops for nuance and color. At times these compositions demand the listeners attention and in many instances the music seems spiritual or ethereal. The Remote Viewing Ensemble are an exciting bunch and befitting of their name approach composition from the outside looking in- and triumphantly succeed in conveying their collective visions. Highly Recommended." **** Glenn Astarita

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Eugene Chadbourne

Country Music of Southeastern Australia

A deranged long lost reissue w/ 20 extra minutes (over 73 in all) of Eugene's '83 tour of down under w/ Jon Rose, David Moss, Rik Rue & Jim Denley. Hilarious, ridiculous, twisted & fun simultaneously. Tortured covers & looney bin like jamming. (Downtown Music Gallery).

This page last updated Augest 22 , 2009