We are proud to announce our 3rd release by Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey, Utter.  Read the liner notes below:

Original artwork by Lain York – www.lainyork.com

Front cover: Sitemap

Back cover: Hulks


A big thank you to Lain York for his artwork

and to Kevin Reilly and Mike Panico at Relative Pitch Records.

In 2016, Tom Rainey and I went on on a second extended duo tour – this time, all along the West Coast of the United States. As a duo, we had been playing improvised music up until then. For this tour we wanted to change the concept and also include composition. It was clear to us that we didn’t want to read music on stage, so we rehearsed and memorized the tunes. In our performances, we weave in and out of these pieces in whatever way we feel like – the composed material is triggered by small musical cues either of us can play at any given moment. Flutter and Shutter were written by both of us and Chant II is a composition of mine.

Ingrid Laubrock, 06/09/2018


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Congrats! Christian Lillinger!

Christian Lillinger

Relative Pitch is proud to announce Christian Lillinger is the winner of the SWR Jazz Prize for 2017.. We will be releasing the new duo album by Christian & Tobias Deluis this Spring titled Dicht. They are planning shows to celebrate in Europe.



Springtime Releases

April/May release dates coming soon.

Thollem/Rob Mazurek – Blind Curves & Box Canyons
Tristian Hosinger/Nicolas Caloia/Joshua Zubot – In The Sea
Olaf Rupp/Rudi Mahall/Jan Roder – Happy Jazz
Christian Lillinger & Tobias Deluis – Dicht

Best of 2016

It’s been another great year here at RPR.  We’ve put out some of our best albums to date, and are extremely proud of our artists and their fantastic work!

Here are a few Best Of lists that we’re happy to be included in:

Avant Music News (Albums of the Year) – The Out Louds, self titled
NPR Music, the record, Francis Davis’ pics – Michael Bisio & Kirk Knuffke, Row for William O.
The Free Jazz Collective, Lee Rice Epstein’s pics – Catherine Sikora, Jersey
New York City Jazz Record – Labels of the Year

Strap yourselves in because 2017 is going to be a blast!

ingrid and tom

09/30 Fresh Sound Music Series, San Diego, 2nd set + Mark Dresser (b), 7.30pm
10/01 Angel City Festival, Los Angeles, double bill with Vinnie Golia quartet
10/02 Music Building 127, California State University, 9001 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, 2nd set Tatsuya Nakatani/Kris Tiner, 4pm
10/03-05 workshops at UCI, CalArts, Mission Viejo
10/06 UCSB,Room 1250, Geiringer Hall, UCSB Music Building,Santa Barbara,7.30pm
10/10 Songlines Series at Mill’s College, Oakland
10/11 Berkeley Arts Festival, Berkeley, 2nd set + Ben Goldberg-cl + Myra Melford-p
10/12 Arcata, for details contact (707) 499-8516 or crib1251@gmail.com
10/13 Leaven Community Center,5431 NE 20th Ave, Portland, OR (Creative Music Guild)
10/14 Earshot Festival, Chapel Performance Space, Seattle, WA

forebrace, steeped

Catalogue ref.: Relative Pitch Records RPR1052 Release date: September 30th 2016.

“a monster of a group that embraces hard hitting predecessors like Last Exit and the textures of early fusion in an avant-garde metal approach.” – Paul Acquaro, The Free Jazz Blog.

“Steeped” is the second album by FOREBRACE, a quartet led by Alex Ward and featuring Roberto Sassi (Vole, Cardosanto, Snorkel), Santiago Horro (Nøught, Luke Barlow Band), and Jem Doulton (Dead Days Beyond Help, Mr. Ron Jetson/Fusebox City). By contrast with their 2013 debut album “Bad Folds” (which was constructed by Alex from a range of material recorded over the course of two intense studio days), “Steeped” captures the group in the heat of live performance. Full-throttle ensemble interaction, evocative atmospherics and paranoiac funk co-exist side by side over the album’s 45-minute length, in which compositions by Ward and collective improvisations flow together in a continuous torrent. While some immediate reference points for Forebrace’s music might be the raging electric violence of Last Exit, the dense contrapuntal babble of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time ensembles, or even the pummelling immersiveness of Swans, “Steeped” also ventures into more abstract and unclassifiable realms drawing on the extended sonic vocabularies of all four musicians, and in particular Sassi and Horro’s astute and disorientating deployment of a wide range of electronic treatments. While in the past Ward’s clarinet playing may have been primarily associated with the free-chamber intricacy of his work with such musicians as Derek Bailey, Simon Fell and Joe Morris, here he pushes the instrument into areas more typical of his guitar playing (as heard in the acclaimed trio N.E.W. with Steve Noble and John Edwards, as well as his own band Predicate), at times putting the clarinet through a dangerously overdriven amplifier to match the electric tumult of his colleagues. The strength of understanding and rapport between the members of the quartet can be seen to have its roots in their involvements and prior collaborations in both the London improvised music and avant-rock scenes (including Ward and Doulton’s ongoing 10-year partnership as the duo Dead Days Beyond Help); and “Steeped” bears witness to the distinctly original ensemble identity they have created by drawing on both worlds.

Track listing:
1. Hive (7:07)
2. Planetesimals (5:35) 3. Stalks (7:56)
4. Crest (6:17)
5. Grains (8:01)
6. Home Stretch (4:30)
7. Bolt (5:23) (Total time – 44:49)

ALEX WARD: clarinet and amplifier
ROBERTO SASSI: electric guitar
SANTIAGO HORRO: electric bass

Tracks 1, 3, 5 & 7 written by Alex Ward (PRS); tracks 2, 4 & 6 by Doulton/Horro/Sassi/Ward (PRS)

Recorded live at Cafe Oto, London on February 8th, 2016, except track 7 and portions of track 4 recorded live at the Vortex Jazz Club, London on July 1st, 2014.


“a first-rate debut album which suggests that Forebrace will be an exciting group for some time to come” – John Eyles, All About Jazz.

“The sheer audacity of the sound leaves a gorgeous auditory residue lingering long after listening. This is one to seek out.” – Paul Acquaro, The Free
Jazz Blog.

“With ‘Bad Folds’ Alex Ward continues to solder together improvisation, free-jazz, and the outer limits of rock in fine fashion, highlighting the essential qualities of all and melting them together to form a sound both alchemical and vital. ‘Bad Folds’ packs the exploration, fire, and insistent violence of all three approaches into one multi-faceted explosion” – Michael Holland, Ears For Eyes.

Forebrace contact/bookings: alexjward@hotmail.com


The Out Louds: Mary Halvorson, Ben Goldberg, Tomas Fujiwara
Photo by Reuben Radding

Tomas Fujiwara – drums
Ben Goldberg – clarinet
Mary Halvorson – guitar

DEBUT RECORDING on Relative Pitch Records: April 8, 2016

Here comes the first record by The Out Louds. We hope you will have a look, and a listen, and that you like what you hear.

The working method of The Out Louds is sonic research, conducted on a decibel-by-decibel level. Once deconstructed, the music can be transmitted to the listener in its pure form and beauty. For example, a person contemplating the Fragility of Existence soon passes from this world, while the fragile existence of the universe continues forever. It is for this reason that the titles on this record are derived from names of flowers that one can encounter at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

The music of The Out Louds is collaborative. There is no bandleader, and they observe the principle of Alphabetical Order. The collective consists of:

F. Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Troy Collins, Point of Departure), Tomas is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his bands Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up and The Tomas Fujiwara Trio; his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek); and a diversity of creative sideman work with forward thinking peers like Bynum, Halvorson, Matana Roberts, Tomeka Reid, Mike Reed, and Nicole Mitchell. In The New York Times, Nate Chinen writes, “Drummer Tomas Fuijwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint… A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope.”

G. Beginning in 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music” (SF Chronicle), clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path.” (NPR). The New York Times noted Ben’s music for “a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” and he was named #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013. Ben’s song-
cycle Orphic Machine, “knotted and occasionally spooky composition marked by dazzling interplay,” (LA Times) with lyrics from the “speculative poetics” of Allen Grossman, is performed by a nine piece ensemble including Nels Cline, Ron Miles, and Ches Smith, and sung by Carla Kihlstedt. Ben composes for and leads Invisible Guy, Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home, “a searching ensemble that welcomes lyrical improvisation while embracing the groove” (The New Yorker); Ben Goldberg School; Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen; the avant-chamber ensemble Tin Hat; and DIALOGUE, a duo with pianist Myra Melford. Other affiliations include Kris Davis’ Infrasound; Nels Cline’s New Monastery; Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors; and Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom. The 11- piece Ben Goldberg’s Brainchild performs Ben’s on-the-spot compositions.

H. Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has been called “NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “the most forward-thinking guitarist working right now” (Lars Gotrich, NPR.org) and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). Ms. Halvorson is best known for her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, and more recently for her solo guitar project, Meltframe. She has several other projects as a bandleader including a quintet, septet and octet. Collaborative projects include a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew (with Michael Formanek and Tomas Fujiwara) and Secret Keeper (with Stephan Crump). Ms. Halvorson is also an active member of bands led by Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Trevor Dunn, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Mike Reed and Marc Ribot, among others.

Painting by Molly Barker

Relative Pitch Records RPR1042

Track List

1. Starry / False 4:23
2. Trout-Lily 5:48
3. False Goat’s-Beard 10:13
4. Yellow Queen 2:26
5. Obedience 5:54
6. Pink Home Run 7:26
7. Preference 4:09
8. Old Blush 3:08
9. Black Garlic 5:53
10. Nearly Wild 6:59
11. Pink Double Knock Out 1:34


Michael Bisio & Kirk Knuffke Gig at the Zurcher Gallery in NYC, December 17th. A great crowd came out to celebrate. 2 days later they entered the studio to record their tribute to William O. Smith. Bill Smith or, William O. Smith, has a career in both Jazz and composition as a clarinet player. Recorded with Dave Brubeck, Jim hall among many others.  William is 90 yrs old and still going strong. This will be a May release on Relative Pitch Records – “Row for William O.”