Berlin based Traumton Records announces realise of SHAKE STEW The Golden Fang recording. Big fun for every one who loves the music and the Dance.
Trumpeter Tom Arthurs and electronic musician Sam Britton (AKA Isambard Khroustaliov) have collaborated in a number of different ensembles. Both in and out of the Not Applicable label/collective, over a period of at least ten years. Arthurs comes distinctly from the Jazz scene and his path is well documented on labels like ECM, Intakt and Babel. Britton belongs to the Dance music scene, something I am not most familiar with. But it doesn’t matter,what does is the fact that they are both improvisers.
That alone explains a lot Vaucanson’s Muse conceptual etymology. This project had been on tour before they entered the studio so they had enough time to get comfortable with what they do together. Being improvised means that titles are here more for the recognition reference than general meaning, but they might too give a gentle push to your imagination once you are entering their circle.
Opening On a Carpet of Leaves Illuminated by the Moon is just like that. With gentleness coming from a poetic phrase one immediately sets his mood up and the silky tone of Tom’s trumpet became immediately explained. Tom is very dedicated to the articulation. He plays with acoustics of the space he plays in and responds to the feedback very sensitively. The fact I recently heard him on stage helped me to constitute that. His phrases here are either light or fast or articulated on the mouthpiece for adding an extra harshness to the modulation. Repetitive lines are communicating nicely with gentle electronic dissonances based on waves and percussive effects. All communicates with an imaginative picture delivered by the title.
Vaucanson’s Muse starts equally gently, but it brings more twisted lines from Tom, with vibratos adding extra dimension to the pictured character. I guess they do refer to the eccentric French inventor living in 18th century. Here complexity of their dialogue becomes more complex. Not in regard of space occupation as there is still a lot of ambience between the notes, but Sam’s contribution is vastly enriched. We have a lot dissonances here and subsonic waves striking with massive bass culminations.
Coming after Grace Jones is much lighter sketch, leaving purely in higher registers,, like almost not stepping on the ground. Levitating character of the picture possesses both strength of the core and the fragility of the tissue. I like it a lot just like a real Grace.
Trajets is one of my favourite here. It is very airy. Trumpet has an excellent feeling of weightlessness. Long blows are lasting till the breaths end when they finally catch some gravity. Electronic accompaniment is very euphonious and it frames trumpet lines perfectly.
But the real escalation of that feeling comes from See Interval. It brings strong nautical feeling with the sounds that Sam’s generates in the background. Tom’s trumpet tells the story in beautiful melodic lines, which are both nostalgic and simple. Sometimes with the funny high pitched rhythmic figures he is somehow contradicting himself. Almost like asking questions inside of his head. Arguing with the main narration, which finally brings us to the end when all the other voices fade into the silence.
This is very imaginative music. It’s experimental but not shooting in your face, in fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. It gives images which are quiet but very poetic and stimulating. I love it a lot.
I am leaving you then with another half of the titles untouched. Virgin territory. Dare to explore it. Let you mind go there and relax. See what you can find and what images will come to your head.
You can listen to the samples and purchase this music here.
We are delighted to say that our representation of labels we are reviewing for is growing. That makes me happy as it deteriorates us from the strictly Jazzy plot to the more variable territory. As music is our passion here it is only for good. NYC based Moon June Records run by Leonardo Pavkovic is already well established medium for progressive music scene on the East Coast. Here is a quote from an introductory located on their homepage to explain you more about their vision.
Three years since already passed since I had the pleasure to review Melt Trio‘s 2nd album called Hymnolia. I liked it a lot and kept going back to it and listen to as nothing newer was available around to listen to until now. The band however didn’t go to sleep and kept polishing their skills by constantly touring as well as being involved in numerous collaborations with Jan Bang, Tony Malaby, John Hollenbeck, Theo Blackman or Jim Black alike.
All this resulted in much more confidence and synergy to become audible in the latest Trio’s outcome. They always had a strong sense of the direction in which they are going to and it remains valid even more now. Saying that they possess immediately recognisable sound would be kind of trivial as they already had it on the first date. But something definitely had been changed in group’s general sonic universe. The most noble thing is that their sound gained more integrity. It became so smooth and organic that the listener almost forgets to notice the electronics involved in a performance. They merged their acoustic sound with all layers of electronica into one single coherent image.
It is audible from the opening Crescending, where as per title two guitars and drummer keep dialoguing in repetitive circles. Until the crescendos reach their climax and can be re set and repeated over and over again. Dangerously titled Cassandra Complex finds crescending circles glittering in the air with some tension realise moments appearing but no disastrous brake. Congo Square brakes this hypnotic invocation introducing some percussion patterns which are starting to challenge so far so smooth galactic journey and some nebulous sound from both electronically tweaked guitars are starting to contradict this new order in return.
Hybris I is a show off for drummer skills here. He can clearly demonstrate how his fragile percussive framework makes a trellis for both guitars to climb up unspoiled. On contrary Hybris II, starting with much more disturbing patterns is showing both guitarists ability for trap avoiding. Smooth outro makes a gentle bridge to title Stroy. Here the subject comes to the shape from under the gentle touches of all the musicians. A title intending to mean an opposite to destroy, so The Stroy is shown as a creative element in this word play.
On this recording I can not find any trace of nervous interaction, or if you wish more rock style like harshness, where on the previous one’s such a shifts are a part of their style yet. It looks like the Trio developed a completely new own language with all the ingredients being present and if one is to look inside carefully you never get this being noticeably thrown straight at you. Also the function of both guitars became less formal. Bass is not just holding the grip only any more, but often takes a lead leaving the guitar behind or going hand in hand with it together.
The Heiliger Dankgesang, closing this recording is matching the mood of the whole recording despite of the fact it is based on excerpts from 3rd movement of Beethoven String Quartet N.15. Without this fact being indicated it would be difficult to spot. That once more shows how Melt Trio’s melting skills vastly increased during these past three years only.
Arne Jansen, a well known Berlin based guitarist comes back with his 4th recording. After short flirt with ACT he is back in the label he started with. And with an equally delightful company. His former drummer , Eric Schaefer ( Demontage ,[em]) is present on this recording as well. Bassist Eva Kruse, Eric’ [em] counterpart had been replaced by the young bass-man and cellist Robert Lucaciu ,whom I had a pleasure to listen to playing in Eva Klesse‘s Quartet recently.
Jensen, a multi-rewarded guitarist in his native country Germany is recognised to be one of the best if not the best jazz guitarists the German stage ever got/ seen ?. Listening to this CD it is easy to see why it is like that. First what strikes you is the incredible transparency of his composition and the way it is executed. Connection inside the band is like a well oiled machine – everything goes forward smoothly with no need to ask questions. His guitar keeps floating over a solid rhythmic foundation from the first to the last note.
More of that even if he stays as a main story teller there all the time the presence of the others is equally straight forward. Schaefer’s drumming stays in a constant dialogue during this performance. So is the bass ,which not only holds the groove but interacts with a guitar tissue and adds to the gravity. The beauty of Jansen’s compositions is laying in the fact that they are equally demanding for every musician taking part of the act. You can’t just be there and play your part in the background. The structure comes out in the way that both the drummer and the bass-man are more like co-soloists all the time with the lines which Jansen composed for them than let’s say the rhythm section. It is difficult to articulate why it is like that, but it can easily be heard.
Opening Here we go strikes with a fast tempo but all recording contains hefty mix of both. Ballads like Deep Wood or It’s Always Night or Klingsors Last Summer are among the most beautiful compositions on this recording. This is where all partners have all the space given to shine. With a lot of space perfection of the articulation and the beauty of the timbers on the guitar and double bass are hypnotising. The enormity of shades coming out of Eric’s cymbals are truly amazing. So is the feeling of the unenforced stroke and the time given to notes to delay and fade into the background.
Arne’s style,if someone would like to analyse that instead of just purely enjoying it and immersing themselves into the sound, holds a lot of inspiration to be traced and it is great fun too to get into the puzzle. Echoes of Metheny‘s and inspiration of Scofield can obviously be heard, but mostly in the way he holds the story going , not the way he articulates. His long notes are coming with no tension and in my feeling it is a unique sense of time what makes him so special. The best to note it is to listen carefully to Between Two Moons, where Lucaciu’s elegant Arcos come as an extra treat for your ears.
Closing He Who Counts the Stars with the quest cello appearance by Stephan Braun is like a lovely lullaby where gentle guitar tin whistles are flying over beautifully lyrical and clean voice of the cello nicely anchored in a middle registers.
This recording is such a pleasure to listen to that I simply don’t want it to stop and come to the end and probably everyone will be about to feel the same. Come joy and stay forever.
The superb US saxophonist teems up with Norwegians in new, fearless, dynamic free jazz trio.
Filipino-American Jon Irabagon (37) is a founder member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing and an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet and Barry Altschul´s 3Dom Factor and has taken part on a vast number of records. He has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat´s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York´s 25 New York City Jazz Icons.
Third album in three years from this young, progressive, heavy trio.
Krokofant typify a new and invigorating movement currently sweeping across the Nordic region: hard boiled improvisation and strong instrumental personalities bolted onto rock beats and driving rhythms. Equally powerful on record and on stage, Krokofant pull no punches, sounding off like some unholy three-way marriage of early 70s jazz rock (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Terje Rypdal), the sprawling progressive odysseys of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator, and the fierce heat of John Zorn or Peter Brötzmann’s harsh free jazz ensembles.
For a Die Hart Jimmy’s fans, like myself it is going to be something special. I discovered Jimmy pretty late , in the middle of 90’s but it was lifespan finding.I never stopped listening to him since and kept digging back to find more and more. The man possessing The Voice almost as sensual as female’s voices are. More of that ,with his deeply emotional interpretations, he had kind of female sensitivity coming with too. With unusual phrasing , meaning and full of silent notes between he became quickly a favourite of the female pantheon of the Be Bop era. A lot can be said about a Little Jimmy, as he had been nick named by Lionel Hampton, but it is not a place for. Those who will feel that hunger for more after listening to that start looking for more with no prompts. Those who already know they do understand.
It is a nice challenge to write about a movie I haven’t been watching yet. Especially pleasing that this one is about the Chet Baker. Director Rob Budreau’s picture loosely plays with Chet’s biography with the focus set on the particular period of the middle 60’s when he was trying to catch up with show business again. Ethan Hawke stars as the trumpeter and even sings a couple of tunes there himself.