Limited quantity of Dusan Jevtovic’s second studio album “On The Edge”, recorded in 2008 at Indi Studios, Barcelona, Spain, and released on Indi Records in 2009, is available now via MoonJune. Dusan Jevtovic is Serbian born guitarist, based in Barcelona since 2001.
Tim Daisy’s Relay records announces new TRIPTYCH realise on Bandcamp.
Pre-order of Triptych – Michael Thieke : Tim Daisy : Ken Vandermark (Relay 019) is available now. Check the sample track one. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released
This Trio is a cut out from the Pimpono Ensemble, just a Polish wing, so it will be interesting to see what sort of Slavic vs Scandinavian element had been kept in this music comparing to the big squad. As they got some program assumptions clearly displayed in the name of the band I am always craving for a Beauty then I was all ears. All compositions came from the band mates collectively. Four from Bass-man , five from Sax-man and two from the drummer.
From first strike, called Yakuza, it was clear that it is going to be more focused, more open dialogue. Bass is ploughing arco here making the ground for saxophone monologue densely seasoned with energetic and space full drumming. Sax sounds harshly and rough. Music sounds like it is briefly sketched then improvised, but I might be wrong here. Phrase is wild and unpredictable.
My Family Is On Fire is assigned part 3 so it might lead into something more complex later on but I already love it as it is now. Despite the title suggesting rapidity there is no rush there. Wonderful airy sax intro opens it up and keeps building nostalgic melody. Drum framework is equally spacious and sounds unexpected due to use of different preparations. Bass lines are ghostly and staying in the background. This is very Scandinavian indeed and the core of the melody deeply grasps from the folk.
Intention, like title suggests, brings immediate tension build by on repetitive drum figure married to the bass reef. Use of Korg Monotron by the drummer creates some interstellar feeling of an open space. Dark sax solo drifts on that like a lost meteor. On the similar basis comes Wakacje w Kolobrzegu, another tune with very dark feeling, but here drums and electronics are building more horizontal sonic landscapes to which sax lines fits in a natural way.
Coming after Jacob sounds almost like Art Ensemble of Chicago. It posses the same dark and murky feeling of space with lots of air and figurative rhythm section’s work. Sax lines tell the story with gentle articulation and emotional touch.
Very interesting piece is the Medieval. This is for sure the music of silence. Most Nordic and contemporary sounding one on whole recording. All sounds very reserved and intentionally damped. Again the story comes of the saxophone mouth and it is pretty lyrical. It makes no reminiscences to dark ages, but intensive exploration of the percussive disuse by both bass man and the drummer makes it highlight.
Reprise seems to be twin being, which is interesting as they both came from under the different hand. Here feeling of Tundra is even stronger. This is deeply charming theme with lots of connection to Norwegian folk.
Crickets kind of closing this triptych. Not just because it is the last tune there but by the way it communicates with the previous two. Dancing of the bass and sax is a marvellous journey to follow.
All music on this disc is wonderfully composed and arranged. It is played with the marvellous quality and understanding. It is obvious that those three musicians understand each other on the fly without saying. They communicate in milliseconds and act like the cells of the single organism. The way they seek their paths and finding beauty between the notes is adorable and fully convincing to me. I am listening to this recording continuously and still keep finding new fascinating details, which is amazing giving the simplicity of the melodies and almost tangible sense of ambience.
Three day residency of the Sun Ra Arkestra in Lewes, hosted in the Con Club, is a part of The Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival co-organised by Dictionary Pudding. Arkestra was originally created and led by Sun Ra, as he preferred to be called, in the beginning of 60-ties. As the band it was always an open platform and it had many members floating through during the long period of its existence. Keyboard wizard, Afro-futurist and philosopher Ra led it to his end in 1993, when he left the planet. Today his longest time collaborator – Marshall Allen (92), who took a lead of the band 22 years ago, continues his legacy which he fully contributed to. A lot had been said about Arkestra hence no point for repeating. Those who are interested in history will find for themselves. Let’s talk about present then.
Those who remember The Great “Little Jimmy” will welcome this recording with Joy. It not only comes as a great epitaph and the summary of his unusual carrier but also, as a package with documentary paying tribute to his life achievement, it makes a full circle.
Without going into the details, except two tracks which are actually tributes to Jimmy: Folks Who Live On The Hill and I Remember You, all remaining ten are Jimmy’s favourite standards he repeatedly performed all his life. Some of them became pillars of his Legend. Like the opening Motherless Child. This traditional Negro Spiritual has its special meaning, and in Jimmy’s interpretation it strikes your heart just like Abel Meeropol’s Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday. There is no other version after that which can be considered serious.
Here we’ve got a double bill from the Netherlands based band co-led by drummer Jonas Linnemann and pianist Paul Stark accompanied by musicians they shared the sparkle with. It counts in a Greek bassist Vasilis Stefanopoulos who already has a track with them back to the beginning and takes part on both trio and the quartet recording. Last not at least comes young and passionate saxophonists Iman Spaargaren who completes a line up on vol.III and who’s deeply spiritual sound suits very well the romantic nature of Chopin’s music. Volume II & III suggests that there was a vol.I before. The one I don’t know. Lets’ look closer then. Both recordings are interpretation of Frederic Chopin’s music.
Vol.II, performed in trio covers composers famous late Piano Sonata No.3 Opus 58. This had been recorded by all the greatest pianists, doesn’t matter the period. Without going deeper to the subject my all time favourite performances are from E.Gilles, M.Argerich and K. Zimerman.
Now to face a complexity of such a score makeover one needs to hear the original at least once to understand amount of work the arranger has to do to adopt the complex piano tissue like that , with all its dynamic fullness, melodic passages and percussive structure originally composed for the piano to the territory of the acoustic trio. Needless to say that the point is to not to throw the child out of the bath and respect and prevent the composer’s intentions and the fragility of the original. Here is when Jonas did a wonderful job.
In an opening Part 1 rhythmic ballast of the score had been shared among the section and the piano in an absolutely astonishing way. When the double bass opening riff introduces the theme with drums’ sparkle announcing upcoming tight wave from the piano we are already surrounded with the melodic motif on which sonata builds on. With the modular shifts through the rhythm related to the tension of the score we are getting slowly to the core of the melody. That is played with all the attention that the piano script would be played with. Articulation, pace and time are more on the side of the classical performance here, than a jazz-like hybrid. And it stays like that until subject returns in repetitive quotes. This is where a jazzy counterpart is taking over. It has to be said that it is handled with the same respectful attention to the very end. The highlight here to me is Vasilis’ arco solo gently wrapped in the cymbals tapestry with the piano chords accenting the beat in the background.
More challenging is Part 2, where widely overbuilt poly-rhythmic drumming such as Ginger Baker’s African Force acts as an introduction to the subject, before a sneak of the theme even comes to the surface. Once it appears it drifts nicely like a cloud in multiple piano repetitions bringing dreamy images. Thanks to that and despite of the opening drumming cannonade the romantic spirit of the Sonata with its famous slightly melancholic tense of time had been kept and present. At least in my ears.
In Part 3 the arrangement job hits Zenith. This is most rocky sounding part with a deep bass foundation and the drum intro which wants to rock you. You can almost hum to Queen’s tune. But again this tension only builds up to counterpoint the later realise of the melody, which here in more significant way takes over towards modal direction. Again Vasislis’ elegantly articulated, played pizzicato, solo acts as a shifting gear for the piano’s driving force.
Closing Part 4 is where we see figurative finger-work of the piano going through a multiple style makeover, where between shifting tempos and multi-layered jazz piano articulations the main theme, again beautifully executed comes back and back to the surface between shifting of jazzy flourishes. This is the most like a modern piano trio sounding part with tension of the piano and articulation of accompanying percussions brings me memories of Ch.Corea’s Fiesta. Passages are fast and lucid with great sense of space and wonderfully balanced silence between the notes in both, fast and slow movements. To sum it up let me say I enjoyed every single note I heard from this recording
Vol.III in similar way covers Chopin’s Cello Sonata Op.65. Still piano is a part of the original score. One would expect then reducing trio into duo and transcript cello parts into lower octaves… but no. Not only does the drumming stay the same but it is also like that when the saxophonist joins.
Opening Allegro moderato starts exactly like an original does with an opening Arco, here performed by double bass of course. A prelude counts the piano in, but it only lasts a minute when the tasty percussion brakes in with a sax lament. This continues another two bars taking over the theme which is after that repeated by the piano again before it came back to bass to play the cello part. Another brake is even more interesting as it changes everything into the Rumba rhythm into which original them in weaved to, surrounded by the section. Piano sounds like a Cuban Sol here and I really enjoy the balance they achieved. That turns later on into the culmination involving sax playing long lamentation part over the theme kept by trio in a purely jazzy manner. After that the same theme is explored again by a double bass and Vaslis’ bowing is simply excellent here. Then next Tutti takes it to the trip across the jazz styles with drummer holding on rhythm in fantastically sparkling way from the ballroom like gentle drive, through the Max Roach alike rhythmic persuasion into the final culmination, which again involves the same styles I mentioned above.
Scherzo attacks us straight on with hot Latin Rumba taking the place of the Menuet. Once introduced, dance rhythm stays on with piano and sax sharing a duty of holding the score, but cello parts brake through between the sections and those are the most close to the original part. Percussion holds all the duties here. Keeping rhythm, breaking with gentle intros but the biggest responsibility is the gear shifting between the styles here. Like in an Allegro theme that gets repeated by the sax, but with changed tempos, multiplied layers and building up culminations it is not that obvious from the first listening.
With Largo piano passages are more accenting an emotional sax lines flying all over than holding to the melody. This is a top moment for a young tenor player to show his understanding of this music as it is all left here in his hands. And he did well indeed. With a very clean articulated sound he beautifully deconstructs melody and plays with it. Slow tempo helps to express the dignity and a simple beauty of Chopin’s vision.
After such an intro Finale could not be anything else but coming back to the aesthetic they chosen. Latin Fiesta.
I like this approach a lot. It shows dancing potential laying in Chopin’s music. Something which the Philharmonics are not showing as it is not on the menu or in the notes exactly but the way that Jazz improvisers approach musical heritage like that is completely different. The best example is here what Jacques Loussier did before with music of Bach, Vivaldi, Ravel or Chopin. I like hybrid treatment like this a lot. It always shows vitality deposited in the music which this way is not dead and keeps appealing to the one generation after another. And always in a different way. Of course the same happens in the Classical domain and the fact that upcoming generations of musicians re- read notes differently is the same sign of changes time brings. Great recording with full steam blown into the music which never sounded like that before. I am sure that Chopin would love it too.
With less than two weeks since my last Jazz gig I’m back into Birmingham again, this times it’s at a much smaller venue, well it’s actually a pub situated in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. The pub holding the gig tonight is the Red Lion, the home of Birmingham Jazz, who tonight were hosting the fabulous guitar playing of Nicolas Meier and Pete Oxley.
Here I got the band made of youngsters who are mainly in their twenties. International collaboration involves musicians from Poland, Norway and Denmark. The band is based in Copenhagen, city with one of the best in EU Music University and famous Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium) there having on board some of the best performers and teachers. Guys are actively performing on European improvised and alternative jazz scene since few years and this CD is their debut recording.
I am delighted to post this article below and extremely happy to host it here. Report of the Saturday’s gig is the first one which I outsourced and I hope that it is not going to be the last one too. It had been written by two dear customers , who later on became the friends too. I am proud to say that it is happening to me. I could not go there myself, but I remember that I introduced these artists to my friends at some point and recommended warmly to go the concert if there will be a chance any soon. Nothing makes me more happy than seeing people enjoying the music I love myself too. It is also perfect situation when interest in playback quality which bought us together at the beginning led on the end to the vast exploration of the music. It continues establishing itself on the base of fascination in Art we are sharing, experience and information exchange about our interests on the ground of the spiritual connection to the act, not the focus on the playback quality.