Review: Since debuting in 1978, composer and saxophonist John Zorn has built up a reputation as someone who regularly pulls jazz in different directions, following experimental or free-jazz sets with atonal workouts, modal movements or lounge jazz pleasantries. "Calculous", his latest two-part composition, crams a similar number of stylistic changes into its 40-minute duration, though remarkably those playing it - bassist Trevor Dunn, drummer Kenny Wollenson and pianist Brian Marsella (Zorn is on production duties) - never skip a beat or stifle a surprise change-up. As a result, the two-part affair makes for hugely impressive and engrossing listening, with the resultant album being one of the most dynamic new jazz sets we've heard this year.
Review: The debut album from Greek group Evritiki Zygia is named in honour of "Ormenion", a historical region in northern Greece that was first inhabited during the Byzantine era. As it borders both Turkey and Bulgaria, for centuries the region has been a melting pot of cultural - and particularly musical - traditions. The music showcased on the album has similarly eclectic, mixed-up roots, combining traditional instrumentation with the kind of fuzzy sounds, hallucinatory motifs and electronic riffs most readily associated with late 20th century psychedelic music from Turkey. It's an intriguing and hugely enjoyable blend all told, with highlights including the mind-altering brilliance of "Ormenion", the hazy intensity of "Maritsa" and the all-action vocal number "Anastenariko (Firewalking Dance)".