Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Paul Dunmall/Chris Corsano
Identical Sunsets

ESP Disk 4058


Raging free jazz duo blat from saxophonist Paul Dunmall (here doubling on border pipes) and drummer Chris Corsano, marking Corsano’s first –fated! - appearance on ESP Disk. Following in the tradition of ESP’s first classic free jazz run, Identical Sunsets is an ass-blasting high energy side. The title track is a particular monster, with Dunmall’s ululating border pipes conjuring the ghost of Albert Ayler’s bagpipes with psychedelic overtones and raw folk passion. Corsano is, of course, amazing. One of the first releases from the revived ESP Disk that feels worthy of the label. Highly recommended. 

Chris Corsano
The Young Cricketer

Hot Cars Warp WARP011


First ever solo album (and first release on his own Hot Cars Warp label for an age) from Chris Corsano (Flaherty/ Corsano, Vampire Belt, Dream/ Aktion Unit, Dredd Foole and the Din, Corsano/ Flower, Babes on the Loose, The Braces et al). 16 short tracks highlighting a multiplicity of profoundly personal innovations on and around the drum kit. 

Chris Corsano/Paul Flaherty
Full Bottle

Ultra Eczema/Ultra Eczema 31/31


Dunno what it is about Kentucky (maybe the kinda straight-from-the-source access to whiskey that Flaherty always ‘enjoys’) but that state seems to have been the scene for a disproportionate amount of horse-killing Flaherty/Corsano duo sets. And here’s another. Hot on the ass of their great Beloved Music set comes this beautifully assembled LP in an edition of only 400 copies complete with ludicrously-sick art by Mr Dennis Tyfus and a raging recording of a set laid down at Louisville’s Renaissance Theatre. Flaherty moves between tenor and alto sax, while Corsano moves between vectors of time/space formulation like so many transparent galaxies. Gorgeous high-energy ballistics go up against sweet passages of solar muscle and beautifully tweaked soul in a way that will satisfy any camp whose principle flag is freedom. Highest recommendation: another monster. Already sold-out at source, so better move it.

Wally Shoup/Chris Corsano/Paul Flaherty
Blank Check

Tyyfus 6


Brain-scalding trio jams from two of the hottest outlaw horns ever to stink up whole chains of USA boozers, Mr Flaherty and Mr Shoup. Between the two of them they account for much of the accelerated post-Rock reed thought of the past few decades, combining the kind of fully adrenalised attack that could almost pass for hardcore with beautiful, blues-charged free jazz blurt. The sound of the twin horns just hacking through the air while drummer Chris Corsano literally kills time behind them demonstrates such an incredible conception of sound-in-space fully tied up with the reality of the body that it feels like some kind of spiritual-physical peak in a back catalogue that between the three of them is packed full of wild summits. But this one is something else. Highly recommended.

Brooklyn Wednesday

Corwood 0789


DVD edition featuring both sets from this trio show with Sterling Smith on guitar and vocals, Chris Corsano on drums and Matt Heyner on bass, live at Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, New York, September 7th, 2005. The sound is closer to the 'classic' Neilson/Youngs live blats but with a more straightahead garage/punk feel, with Sterling playing some of his oddest electric guitar downs while Heyner moves from groaning electric bass monoliths across the first set to quiet, semi-audible acoustic bass on the second. The second set is consequently the weirdest, with the extra space generated by Heyner fully inhabited by very minimal guitar work from Sterling and some oddly dramatised lyrical set-ups. Corsano plays it pretty straight for the bulk, riding behind Sterling's guitar like a steamroller, and at points the vocal delivery combines with the overall bounce of the rhythm section to birth something that seems to owe more to The Minutemen than any sort of avant blues tradition. The songs are great, moving from devastating emotionally wrought confessionals through to funny situational set pieces and Sterling really stretches out on vocals and is obviously enjoying the performance.

Colour Them Gone

Nyali Recordings #7


World-beating free music duo of Heather Leigh on pedal steel and vocals and Chris Corsano on drums, following on in style from their Family Vineyard LP. Once more recorded and mixed by Andreas Jonsson the sound is as dazzling as their debut, with three tracks that move from ferocious post-Sharrock power blues through new zones of smoky, spectral tone. The opener comes straight out of The Rocker, with Heather’s bad motor scooter guitar burning asphalt while Corsano plays in four directions at a time, ducking air raid warnings with an amphetamine dexterity. Second track, “White Spider” is a whole new bomb, with the duo navigating a kind of psychedelic giallo atmosphere with Corsano making like an orchestra of Max Roachs while Heather plays spectral strings and floating tones that are straight out of the Nicolai/Morricone songbook. The closing “Freezing Shark” might be the most radical recording they’ve nailed to the floor, with an unaccompanied vocal from Heather driven straight through the wall by Corsano before the guitar explodes like a heavy metal Masayuki Takayanagi playing future blues. This is such a great, invigorating shot from the source and it confirms a whole buncha things that are important in underground music: energy, passion, actual playing, speed-of-thought improvisation. Who else comes close? Hand-numbered edition of 297 copies. Highest possible recommendation!

Joe McPhee & Chris Corsano
Scraps And Shadows

Roaratorio Roar-26


Second duo album on Roaratorio from this inspired hook-up between veteran free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee and drummer Chris Corsano: this is a major kick out the jams bomb, with a buncha titles dedicated to fellow heavy-hitters like Paul Flaherty, Kidd Jordan, Han Bennink, Muhammad Ali and Fred Anderson. McPhee moves between pocket trumpet, tenor and soprano saxophone throughout. The trumpet blats are particularly effective, pushing Corsano into a weird martial Don Ayler/Don Cherry vibe that he responds to by marching the whole damn deal to the edge of the precipice. But it’s McPhee’s tenor that really grounds the music, playing with a breadth of tone and the kind of interstellar logic of the late-Coltrane ensembles while making lightning strikes on the saxophone’s most phantom registers. A great, great side, one that could have sat as comfortably on Centre Of The World or ESP Disk back in the day while playing with the kinda fiery no-prisoners assault that is truly post-Noise. Comes with a download, highly recommended. 

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt
The Raw And The Cooked

Palilalia PAL-011



Much-anticipated private press duo set from guitarist Bill Orcutt and drummer Chris Corsano: Corsano has made no secret of his total fucking awe at the kinda jaw-dropping breakthroughs in the logistics of time and space made by drummer Adris Hoyos in the few short years that she ruled the planet in Harry Pussy so it was pretty much a given that when Orcutt got back to string wrestling that Corsano was gonna be shooting for the drum stool. And what a hook-up. This is the closest to the full-bore Harry Pussy sound that Orcutt has come since reactivating, with that wild hiccupping style where it feels like the pair are just riding waves of buckling electricity. Corsano’s playing isn’t quite as, uh, blunt as Hoyos and there’s a fluidity to his pugilism that allows Orcutt to get a little slippy, exchanging well-oiled power chord blats with fast zig-zagging runs. And it’s not all breakneck speed-of-thought exchange either, there are long sections of tactile low level tension and some blues moaning from Orcutt that would spook Guitar Roberts. Edition of 500 copies in a cool gatefold sleeve with a snap of our heroes in full flight, immediately sold out at source, very highly recommended!

The New Blockaders/Thurston Moore/Jim O'Rourke
The Voloptulist

Hospital Productions HOS-144


Dream-team hook-up between a trio of the most important free-noise theorists of the modern age, the UK's New Blockaders and Thurston and Jim of Sonic Youth et al. Hard to work out who is doing exactly what here - though the presence of drummer Chris Corsano on the second track is pretty unmistakable - but the overall feel is of one of TNB's early Symphonie X works populated by thin strings of feedback, the crackle of electronic jack-to-jack friction and a subtle ring of bone. Beautifully eerie and a little more pro-drone than the bulk of TNB's work. Second track is just unbelievable, with a slow hiss of feedback torn apart by Corsano's triumphal, spirit/energy scattershots, marching a legion of ghosts all the way over the horizon. Highly recommended.

Akira Sakata/Giovanni Di Domenico

Mbari Musica Mbari-21


Stunning studio set from this legendary Japanese free jazz saxophonist in the company of pianist Giovanni Di Domenico: Sakata plays alto sax, clarinet, bells and shakers and he sings in a spontaneous old man of the mountains/crazy wisdom style. This is a blazing set w/a heady diamond-sharp, questing appeal. Akira Sakata has long been one of the key players on the Japanese free jazz underground, playing as a part of Yamashita Yosuke’s trio and forging alliances with players like Peter Brotzmann and Sonny Sharrock, who he played with as part of Last Exit, as well as noise groups like Hijokaidan. When he’s blasting on all cylinders he has all the emotive power of a David S. Ware or a Peter Brotzmann, but he’s just as likely to get down with the weird, sinuous melodic lines of a Dolphy or a Lacy. Di Domenico is a stunning foil, sometimes extrapolating Sakata’s lines, other times creating weird, dunting bass counterpoints, worrying over great boulders of bottom end w/all the deliberately inchoate tactile doofs of a Dumitrescu before devolving in light, skipping patterns and flighty, extended runs. The atmosphere shunts from gregarious power visions of the sound of now through quizzical, haiku-like asides out into pure meat joy song-forms, making this one of the premier duo exchange’s of recent years. A stand-out set, very highly recommended!

Akira Sakata/Johan Berthling/Paal Nilssen-Love

Trost TR-130


Excellent new trio set that unites long-term Japanese free saxophonist/vocalist Akira Sakata with the rhythm section of bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love: this is a truly wild and unexpected set, especially for the 6 minute “Rower’s Song Of Ondo” where Sakata doesn’t even play saxophone at all but instead sings in a furious, possessed style ala Kan Mikami over a thundering rhythm section. When he does pick up the horn he is on equally devastating form, playing in a fast speed-of-thought style that barely pauses for breath while crossing fat, almost David S Ware-esque tattoos and peaks of testifying soul power with all out balls-to-the-wall joy. Best Sakata side of recent years? Recommended.