Vi er på vei inn i mars måned, og forhåpentligvis er vinteren i ferd med å slippe taket. Det drar seg mot Vossa Jazz, hvor flere av Europe Jazz Medias medlemmer vil møtes igjen for å diskutere framtiden for organisasjonen. Og vi skal høre mye kvalitetsjazz på “vårens vakreste eventyr”.
Og mens vi venter på festival og at sola skal steke I solveggen, har de europeiske jazzredaktørene gode forslag til hva man skal sjekke ut I løpet av måneden. Lykke til!
Nuno Catarino, jazz.pt:
Evan Parker X-Jazz Ensemble – A Schist Story (JACC Records, 2022)
Dick Hovenga, Written in Music:
Bandler Ching – Coaxial (sdband)
Peter Slavid, LondonJazz News:
Paul Towndrow – Outwith The Circle (Keywork Records)
Patrik Sandberg, Jazz:
Bobo Stenson Trio – Sphere (ECM)
Cim Meyer, Jazz Special:
Argüelles – Laginha – Norbakken Atlânico (Edition)
Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid:
Torgrim Sollid – Meson (Roselyd)
Matthieu Jouan, citizenjazz.com:
Ord – Hemligheter pa vägen (Havtorn Records)
Axel Stinshoff, Jazz thing:
Bobo Stenson Trio – Sphere (ECM)
Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica:
The Necks – Travel (Northern Spy Records)
Yves Tassin, JazzMania:
Lionel Beuvens – 49 Steps to Heaven (Hypnote Records)
Jos Demol, jazzhalo.be:
Paolo Sorge – Mirroring (Blue Mama Records)
Christof Thurnherr, Jazz’n’More:
Astroturf Noise – Blazing/Freezing (577 Records)
Kaspars Zavileiskis, jazzin.lv:
Māris Briežkalns Quintet – Latgalian Evergreens (MMC Ieraksti)
Jacek Brun, www.jazz-fun.de:
Johannes Enders – Sweet Freedom – A Tribute To Sonny Rollins (Enja Records)
Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika:
Karmen Rõivassepp and Aarhus Jazz Orchestra – Ambivalence (Jaeger Community Music)
Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum:
Kinva – Kinva (self released)
Mike Flynn, Jazzwise:
Nora Kamm – One (Duya Music)
Krzysztof Komorek, Donos kulturalny:
Izumi Kimura, Artur Majewski, Barry Guy, Ramon Lopez – Kind Of Shadow (Fundacja Słuchaj)
Jan Granlie, salt-peanuts.eu:
Tore T Sandbakken – Imperfect Solitude (Jazzland)
Christine Stephan, Jazzthetik:
A lexandra Lehmler, Frack Tortiller – Aerial (mco)
Viktor Bensusan, jazzdergisi.com:
Chris Potter – Got the Keys to the Kingdom: Live at the Village Vanguard (Edition)
Why did I choose –
Paul Towndrow is an outstanding saxophonist, educator and composer who plays regularly with this trio of Pete Johnstone’s Organ and Alyn Cosker’s drums. It’s a powerful improvising trio playing music with just a subtle hint of a Celtic influence. On some tracks the influence is more direct as the trio is joined by a selection of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians, piper Ross Ainslie for example. Jazz in Scotland has developed a strong and distinct personality of its own, and this album is the latest excellent example.
Bobo Stenson is not a musician who repeats himself, but he has an ability to continuously expand his musical spectrum. This time the longliving trio with Anders Jormin and Jon Fält has moved more towards art music domains and at Sphere the pieces by Nordic composers with a pioneering, modernist approach are presented such as Danish Per Nörgård, Swedish Sven-Erik Bäck and the versatile Norwegian Alfred Janson. But there is also a small oddpiece by Sibelius as well as some compositions by Anders Jormin. It is consistently a contemplative record that the trio presents this time. The estimates are precise, well thought out, caring, full of details and unexpected and subtle subtleties.
Pianist Karin Johansson leads a surprising ensemble, ORD, whose airy, vibrant colour is the perfect medium for poetry. Without drums, with four wind instruments and a piano, sometimes prepared, the Swedish quintet offers a magnificent setting of Tomas Tranströmer’s minimalist poetry.
Tranströmer’s poems are set to melody in intelligent and shimmering arrangements. Jenny Willén’s voice, sometimes whispered, sometimes spoken, sometimes soft and precise, participates in this universalism of poetry. Niclas Rydh’s trombone, Gunnel Samuelsson’s reeds and Hasse Westling’s double bass complete the orchestration.
Numerous instrumental passages also illustrate the finesse of Johansson’s writing, the skilful use of brass and woody colours with a balance point on the piano, but without making it the central axis. Much of this intimate and evanescent universe is due to the silences and ethereal interventions of the musicians, who know how to convey this feeling of floating and subdued light. The lyrics evoke nature, light, dreams and sleep, gazes and reflections.
Undoubtedly a record to listen to at least once in your life.
Jazz ? What it is ? Answer : it is the first of the 50 steps to heaven. The other 49 are to be discovered by listening to this album. (Pierre Dulieu)
This is mostly music of the head rather than the heart, or indeed the feet – it rarely settles into a «groove» although «Next» blooms into a swing feel with some bluesy guitar and «Avida Diva» offers a latin beat and chromatic riffs – which always swerve cunningly away from «line cliches». Overall it’s a fine album, particularly if you like the guitar/sax/bass/drums format, and are interested in new slants on Monk’s musical ideas. (Stephen Godsall)
The new album Latgalian Evergreens by the Māris Briežkalns quintet dedicated to the Latgale region in south-eastern Latvia is a continuum of rearranging Latvian folk music and the compositions by legendary Latvian composers in the jazz genre. In 2005, the album Latvian Evergreens by the Māris Briežkalns quintet was launched, and in 1997 the disc Kur tu teci was released as well. The new album Latgalian Evergreens is a logical next step, offering lovers of quality jazz to enjoy coolest gems of Latgale’s musical heritage in a new and different soundscape. In three compositions of the new album the well-known Latvian folk music artist, singer Biruta Ozoliņa also participates. This project is like an emotional and informative adapter that helps the wider public to discover beautiful and unknown moods of Latvian music. Latgalian Evergreens will also be released on CD and vinyl.
Numerous musical projects have been created with the works of Sonny Rollins in various styles and instrumentations. Johannes Enders has shown great courage in recording this album with works of the genius musician exclusively with the saxophone in the leading role. His trio presents an interesting aesthetic concept in which the spirit of the compositions is not lost and is listened to with great interest. In this convention, his own compositions are hardly inferior to the works of the master! Johannes Enders proves to be a sensitive saxophonist with excellent technique and expressive playing.
This is a debut recording by the Ukrainian jazz trio KINVA, which was formed in Poland last year after the outbreak of war. The charismatic jazz couple of pianist Anastasiya Litvinyuk and drummer Igor Hnydyn are the founders of the popular ethno-jazz group ChockolaD – they had peformed internationally and released seven albums. In KINVA they are joined by bassist Roman Chraniuk, a Polish musician of Ukrainian descent. Their eponymous album features original compositions as well as traditional Ukrainian tunes with jazz arrangements and strong rhythmic groove often based on irregular meters. Beautiful melodies, heart-wrenching vocals, filled with nostalgia, longing, pain, courage and pride.
KINVA recently traveled overseas, sharing their music with enthusiastic audiences in Edmonton, Canada. I should mention that these wonderful musicians made the cover of the latest issue of „Jazz Forum” magazine dedicated to Ukrainian jazz, which is growing in strength and absolutely deserves a wider recognition.
Tore T Sandbakken is a Norwegian drummer, who in recent years has been heard in a number of contexts, not only in jazz, but in a number of different musical genres. On Imperfect Solitude, he collaborates with the tenor saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg and the pianist Dag-Filip Roaldsnes, where Paulsberg is the one who has distinguished herself the most in recent years, including with the band Flukten, Gurls and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and in her own Hanna Paulsberg Context. This is a record that could just as well have been a record in Roaldsnes’ name. Because he is the leading musician, with an exceptionally delicious following from Paulsberg and Sandbakken. The record is characterized by the good ballads, and both Sandbakken and Roaldsnes have created eight beautiful songs in the tradition that are consistently exceptionally beautiful and delicious. I have heard both Paulsberg and Roaldsnes in several other contexts. But I don’t remember hearing the two in such a complete, beautiful ballad landscape before. And together with Sandbakken’s fine compositions and spare drumming, this becomes a ballad record of high international class. This music is perfect to enjoy with a glass of burgundy, while seeing that winter has no intention of leaving us just yet. The legs are raised high, the glass well placed in the right hand, the bottle of Noiton-Beaunoy, Grand Cuvée is within reach, and the lovely music pouring out of the speakers helps to make this a perfect evening… It could almost not be better!
Four undisputed personalities of world improvised scene during their first meeting in studio. Second part of the session (first was released at the end of 2022) recorded after Ad Libitum Festival 2021 in Warsaw. Musicians from different countries and different generations met there creating together a spectacle of the imagination. Almost one hour of fully improvised material in eleven instalments. True feast for improvised music lovers.
Village Vanguard is a sacred place for jazz and «Live at The Village Vanguard» has always heralded intensely high quality albums, from John Coltrane to Chris Potter (twice) and beyond …
The bands from Flanders that surprise with great debut records based on the free jazz spirit keep on coming. Bandler Ching is the new band of saxophonist/composer Ambroos De Schepper who we know from Kosmo Sound, Azmari and Mos Ensemble. For Bandler Ching he brings along keyboardist Alan Van Rompuy, bassist Federico Pecoraro and drummer Olivier Penu. A fascinating bunch of musicians. Coaxial is an extraordinary album that combines the free jazz spirit with cool electronics and phat grooves. From the coolest electronic jazz opener You Call It, a track that builds up to a brilliant climax, they present a marvelous and diverse sound that dives deep and hits hard. After listening to Coaxial the only thing you really need and want is to hear all those tunes live!
In August 2012 a group of Portuguese improvisers spent a week in an artist residency led by the legendary Evan Parker. Seventeen musicians got together, including Rodrigo Amado, Luís Vicente, Angelica Salvi, Marcelo dos Reis, Luís Lopes and Gabriel Ferrandini. In an almost magical place, surrounded by immense greenery and giant mountains, it was experienced an «utopian thing» (in Parker’s words). Ten years later, the result of that historical meeting is available.