On “Consequences”, Philipp Gropper’s PHILM transfuses the navigation of everyday life into multi-faceted themes. Music on the cutting edge, music that does not shy away from the burning questions of the day, an amalgam of gripping compositions and strong individual statements revealing an emphasis on viable alternatives. Jazz that balances on the outer borders, strangely abstracted and at the same time insistent.
release date: 6th of June 2019
Elephant9, probably the most recognisable psychedelic -jazz – rock band from Norway is with us now well over decade, marking their existence with creative productivity almost every year or two , always with the same trusted label, Rune Grammofon. Psychedelic Backfire double bill is the latest tenon, since the well reclaimed Greatest Show On Earth, we have seen and heard last year.
Due out: July the 5th, on Rosebud Records
“Eldridge invests in his songs with remarkable poetry, beauty, charm and depth to spare.” – David Pulizzi, Jazziz
“Kenny Werner has a rare combination of qualities, playing from deep in the mainstream, but doing so with the genuinely traditional values of group communication and emotional commitment to the creative act.” – Stuart Broomer, New York City Jazz Record
Release date 24.05.19
Five years already past since I last time have seen the whole orchestra on the stage: The Large Unit – 28 musicians. Seeing first big squad realise again makes my heard thrilling.
Their first two albums, Exit (2013) and Enter (2014), presented us with sizeable and ambitious line-ups of 28 musicians. Ritual (2016) saw it reduced to 21 and with Arrival it´s been trimmed down to a “mere” 14, with the core trio of Fire! (Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin) and the two singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg being the only constant members since the beginning. Apart from this reduction, the main line-up difference is the introduction of a string quartet.
An intergenerational union calling on the legacy of Konitz, Marsh and Tristano
Available May 17, 2019 via Capri Records
“The saxophonist Mark Turner, has been one of the most productive and vital artists of the last dozen years”
– Nate Chinen, The New York Times
” They should name a river after Gary Foster. The alto saxophonist has a natural, flowing style that’s as wide and compelling as the Mississippi itself.” – Bill Kohlhaase, Los Angeles Times
Jazz piano maestro Larry Fuller releases Overjoyed
A treasure of stylistic flair and diversity featuring Lewis Nash and Hassan Shakur
Available May 17, 2019 via Capri Records
“He brings a vitality. He swings hard, and I like that!” – Ray Brown, master bassist
“In his amazing gossamer piano solos, he sprinkles stardust on whatever song he plays. You hold your breath in wonder.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times
Hungarian Duo remains on my Hot List since they signed to Traumton and the first time I’ve got in touch with their music. Those who follow do know that two previous recordings had been also reviewed here. This one is different however, as they now expanded to the regular Quartet. Newcomers are bassist Nicolas Thys and drummer Antoine Pierre. Saying that it was just about time as like I said before, as a duet they reached the threshold and I could not see them going any further. Adding a rhythm section made an extra space and enriched the arrangements, giving in the same time a different context for Veronica, which She made a good use of immediately. Paradoxically I am finding this new expanded squad sounding much more intimate to me. The reason for it is that She has got much more headroom for her vocal.
Therefore, this recording is showing her vocalise in completely new perspective. Straight from an opening Listen to Me Now, you can tell that it all gained a different pace. She might now articulate the lyrics with longer decays, that alone makes a difference to the surrounding silence. As the rhythm is looked after, Bálint as well can focus even closer on accompanying her and his playing became more modal, when previously it was faster, more percussive and drive – giving. This makes her sing almost like an operatic Diva, when she can finally unveil the charm of the long lasting high notes and focus on finishing them in the silky fading way.
Another ballad San Francisco, brings again a lot of beautiful thrills, this is probably most reminding the previous recording one, as her connection with guitarist remains very close and she uses loops with her own vocals as well, when section makes it only to the little breaks.
First Night is something which introduces a new aesthetic into Veronicas expression artillery. It is very cold and Nordic song, in fact is even articulated in the way which reminds me what Sidsel Endresen used to do with Bugge Wesseltoft. Or territories occupied by Lena Willemark alike. Double bass solo making an outro from that nocturnal space is beautifully fingered, woody and full of melody.
Second Night in comparison is like getting back to bed with the girl you already know very well. This is Veronica at her best. Shaping phrase with a great attention. Jazzy guitar aliquoted passages enriched with a gently brushed Toms, brings a similar mood as Pat Matheny and Paul Wertico used to create.
But then the Last Night is coming and it all breaks and turns upside down. Veronica’s recitative – descriptive voice takes a lead and builds a drama. She does a phenomenal input here, especially the part sung over the rolling rhythm. Her different lines looped into a single tissue creates something which might be best described as a tribal ritual with the emotional intensity it builds. This cannonade finds the way out in the psychedelic gallop, like from the best Gong days.
This three nights makes me emotionally fulfilled and I could marry the girl blindfolded, but would you believe me if I tell you that there is still lot left to explore. There is , as we are just in the middle. Isn’t life beautiful.
release date: 17 May 2019
The Akku Quintet was founded by drummer and composer Manuel Pasquinelli. Says renown writer Sid Smith, “Best-known for his work in Swiss post-rock minimalist outfit, SONAR, Pasquinelli’s writing contains an almost cinematic dimension that encompasses bittersweet moods and moments of unfolding drama.” The band is based in Switzerland, from where they dispense a minimalistic jazz groove to great effect.
release date: 10th of May 2019
Dark Star Safari, a newly formed group featuring Samuel Rohrer, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré and Eivind Aarset, present its eponymous recording debut, an evocative song-driven album. These songs conjure shadows of memory, clouds of dreaming and silhouettes of foreboding through the album’s layered, many-textured fabrics and Jan Bang’s silken delivery of Erik Honoré’s acute lyrics.