Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 26, 2012

Massimo Magee, “Sopranino Solo” cdr (KSE #222) available now

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:33 am



(KSE #222,  full-length CDR album)

original cover art by M. P. Landis

$8.00 postpaid US (add $2 postage if outside US and ordering only 1 item)

payment via  paypal to   django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

Australian multi-instrumentalist/composer/improviser/conceptualist MASSIMO MAGEE has been doing a lot of important work in the last few years, investigating the unexplored corners of the world of solo instrumental improvisation, bringing in his interests in aesthetic theory and philosophy, and creating a large and endlessly fascinating body of work, much of which is available for free download. His 26-volume set of solo improvisation, COLLECTED SOLOS, is an amazing collection I’ll be living with for years. You can get it at .

However, Magee’s new album, recorded especially for KSE, is the matter at hand here: SOPRANINO SOLO (KSE #222). While the sopranino saxophone has been used here and there by Anthony Braxton and others, Magee has truly dedicated himself to exploring the possibilities of the instrument in a new and different way, and that’s what we have extended into four states in SOPRANINO SOLO. Track one is exciting live recorded sopranino, with a tip of the hat to Steve Lacy’s solo albums on soprano, especially the Solo in Avignon album on Emanem. Track two is also solo live, but played with a reed that had been pickled for four months, adding fascinating textures to the playing and taking the SOUND of the music into another realm. Track three combines tabletop sopranino sax w/ electronics and radio, and while it seems to be electronic on the surface, it’s rooted once again in solo sopranino improvisation. The fourth and final track uses a VCR with a tape of sopranino sax improvisation, incorporating the sounds of the machine and the limitations of the VCR technology into the document of the performance, hence making the performance something different, adding further limitations and further distortions/extensions to the sound, though as with the entire album, it’s rooted in solo sopranino improvisation. Basically, Massimo Magee has taken the area of solo saxophone improvisation and put it through a series of modulations and treatments, and he’s created an album that takes off into the stratosphere soundwise, but always is grounded in the pure free-improv experience. As always, Massimo Magee is doing thoughtful, exciting, and boundary-smashing investigations of the possibilities of solo instrumental improvisation, pursuing those investigations with an intellectual rigor and a sense of a logical extension-of-an-extension-of-an-extension of an idea that shows Magee’s philosophical grounding and his focused experimentation. For me, this is one of the most important albums of the year in the free-jazz/free-improv vein. Mr.  Magee is a young man (compared to me, he certainly is!), and if this is what he’s doing NOW, I cannot imagine what heights he’ll be reaching in 10,  in 20, in 30 years. KSE is proud to help him get this work out to a larger audience and an audience outside Australia. Exciting things seem to be happening in the Brisbane experimental music scene, and you’ll be hearing more from that scene on future KSE releases.

Beyond the fine music, you also get an original cover artwork from Brooklyn-based painter MP Landis (who listened to the album multiple times before creating the piece), a man who is doing similarly important investigations/improvisations in the visual art world with his “wd series,” of which this cover is #5232.

We are in the midst of a golden age in free-improv music and in exploring the possibilities of solo instrumental improvisation, using extended techniques and the assistance of objects/treatments/adaptations, and no better example exists than this new album SOPRANINO SOLO from Massimo Magee. It sits well on the shelf beside works by other experimentalists such as Alfred 23 Harth, Forbes Graham, Greg Kelley, etc.

Hand-numbered, hand-assembled edition of 123 copies.  $8 postpaid in the US. Add $2 if outside of the US and ordering only one item (in other words, buy 2 or more KSE items and it’s postpaid ANYWHERE, but it costs almost $5 to send ONE cdr overseas, so pardon the surcharge). Send payment via paypal to  django5722(at)yahoo(d0t)com

We’ve also recently re-issued on a full-sized cdr the much acclaimed DIRECT TO TAPE (KSE #224), originally released by KSE as a 3″ cdr, a blistering free-jazz duo blowout that finds Magee on tenor, sopranino, and analog electronics paired with percussionist Tim Green. This album, recorded in a low-fi manner on cheap tape, has the in-your-face presence of a recording on such classic free-jazz labels as Survival, Saturn, or Jihad. You need DIRECT TO TAPE also. It too is $8 postpaid in the US.

And while you are ordering those to Massimo cdr’s  via paypal, please try some of our other CDR releases, only $8 each, postpaid in the US:

KSE #223  (CDR), ALISTAIR CROSBIE, “Campfire In The Snow”

KSE #228 (CDR), UNMOOR, “Night Driver”

KSE #220 (CDR), MATT KREFTING, “Sweet Days of Discipline”

KSE #225 (CDR), XANTHOCEPHALUS, “3 W B” REISSUE (full-sized CDR reissue of KSE #204, which was a 3″ mini-cdr, this reissue is limited to 35 copies)

KSE #221 (CDR), DEREK ROGERS, “circum_navigate” REISSUE (full-sized CDR reissue of KSE #170, which was a 3″ mini-cdr, this reissue is limited to 30 numbered copies)

KSE # 210 (CDR), HEATHER LEIGH, “Empire”

KSE #214 (CDR), SABRINA SIEGEL,”Bottlecaps”



KSE #208 (CDR), ANTHONY GUERRA & BILL SHUTE, “subtraction” (limited USA re-press of CD originally issued on Black Petal Records, Australia)

We’ll have more music and poetry releases coming out over the next few months…stay tuned. And remember that we chose not to use the standard “alternative” distributors, so if you want these before they are out of print, you should get them directly from KSE as soon as possible. Thank you for supporting independent DIY artistic ventures such as KSE…

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