JOAO LOBO - Simorgh [LP](Les Albums Claus BEL)
TREPPENWITZ - Sister In Kith [LP](Discus UK)
Two different modern takes on Free Jazz from a pair of very adventurous artists. Joao Lobo is phenomenal as a drummer. His blistering waves on the kit become a wash on these five songs. Most notably is the lengthy but well-arranged "71-72" which bears the most thematic parts and biggest change on the entire album. As a trio with brother Norberto and bassist Soet Kempeneer, Joao Lobo leads them through furious portions ("Cumulonimbo") like a Seventies pre-Fusion band that is wild about Free Jazz.
Leeds' trio Treppenwitz takes a more Sixties Jazz approach to their Free Jazz. On "Sister In Kith," their synergy is undeniable. Playing together live and being recorded really raises their confidence in adding swing-like changes ("brimful") and quiet passages (the Ornette Coleman-meets-Bad Plus beauty "brave to swim in this weather.") As a group, "Sister In Kith" has a wonderful Charles Mingus-plays-Eric Dolphy quality to it. Tom Riviere's bass lines are elegant and give the tracks a punch. Steve Hanley's drums are never busy, but even in subtlety finding new inner rhythms to summon. Finally, Matthew Aplin's inventive piano lines echo Monk and Cecil Taylor. "Sound Logic/Sound Magic" has some awesome doubled lines from him where his dip into different harmonies colors the mood but never just changes it. Treppenwitz's explorations of sound and interplay are some of the best you will hear in 2021.