Reissue, originally released in 1979. Recorded live at WKCR Radio in New York City in 1978 and issued by Ictus the following year, Environment for Sextet encounters John Zorn at the earliest stages of his career, resting within a sextet of a new generation of stunning improvisers emerging at the tail end of the ’70s who would go on to define a vast swath of the ’80s sound — Polly Bradfield on violin, Andrea Centazzo on percussion, Eugene Chadbourne on guitar, Tom Corra on cello, and Toshinori Kondo on trumpet — it roughly builds on the series of collaborations that had featured on Centazzo’s 1978 Ictus LP U.S.A. Concerts. Launching from a total wall of sound — full throttle fire on the boundaries of outright noise — Environment for Sextet takes the listening on an endlessly surprising journey through its players’ inner world, shifting between airy open passages that feature endless combinations of one or more players, to furious moments of sonorous lashings where the group falls in together in brilliant dialogical periods of conversant texture and tonal intervention. An engrossing and relentless listen from the first moment to the last — featuring two works built from two of Andrea Centazzo’s earliest graphic scores — Environment for Sextet is an absolutely stunning body of improvised work by what were then among the most important rising stars on the free music scene. Edition of 250.
Leon Johnson has spent his share of time in airports. Growing up in a veritable Civil Rights dynasty, the now Indianapolis-based multi-instrumentalist and composer traveled frequently as a child, [...]