miércoles, 13 de diciembre de 2017

Peter Ehwald - Behind Her Eyes (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) JAZZWERKSTATT RECORDS 2017



Dieses Paradoxon sei erlaubt: das vorliegende Trioalbum ist eine wunderbare Trioeinspielung, weil sie ein so vielschichtiges, herrliches Duo-Musizieren dokumentiert. Peter Ehwald und Stefan Schultze, inzwischen Träger prominenter Musikpreise, kennen sich seit bald zwanzig Jahren, seit ihrer Zeit der Aufnahmeprüfung fürs Musikstudium. Vielfache gemeinsame Projekte haben sie miteinander realisiert, sind sich gegenseitig entscheidende Inspirationsquellen und Kritiker geworden. Den Schlagzeugstar der New Yorker Downtown Szene, Tom Rainey, bewundern beide schon seit langem. Letztes Jahr hat sich die Gelegenheit zu einer gemeinsamen Tour der drei ergeben, und an einem freien Tag in Berlin haben sie gemeinsam diese CD aufgenommen. Es gibt nicht viele Schlagzeuger, mit denen das Wunder vollendeter offener Triomusik derartig überzeugend gelingen kann wie mit dem fast 59-jährigen Amerikaner. Er ist ein begnadeter Klangrhythmiker und Klangmelodiker, ein Meister des subtile Strukturen generierenden Ex-tempore-Komponierens. Er ist Katalysator und doch gleichzeitig existenziell Beteiligter. In seinem Umfeld vollzieht sich offenes Triospiel immer wieder als intensives Duo-Musizieren mehrerer Beteiligter gleichzeitig; quasi analog zum chemischen Paradigma ringförmig wechselnder Valenzen interagiert jeweils duogemäß jeder mit jedem – und das mit einer fast asketisch konzentrierten Kultur des Zuhörens. Statt Powerplay-Einheitsbrei entstehen so abwechslungsreiche, beglückende Begegnungs-Miniaturen – vor allem dann, wenn sich die Beteiligten wie bei diesem Treffen auf eine Balance von auskomponierten und freien offenen Formen verständigen.

Zu dem Umgang mit dem Material bemerken Stefan und Peter: "Unsere Herangehensweisen auf dem Album sind sehr verschieden. Das was vorauskomponiert ist, ist oft sehr prägnant und bestimmend für die Ästhetik der einzelnen Tracks, trotzdem ist das Ziel, darüber zu stehen und so frei wie möglich damit umzugehen und Gedanken weiterzuspinnen. Es fühlt sich in der Besetzung eher so an, als ob man ständig, während man spielt, die Kompositionen erweitert, weiter komponiert und neue Gedanken hinzufügt. Es soll kein Bedienen einer vorgefertigten Idee sein."

Die Reihenfolge der Stücke wurde erst nach den Aufnahmen festgelegt. Dabei besticht das Programm mit strenger Stringenz. Tong-Gu entpuppt sich nach einer Reihe von eher offenen, freieren Stücken zu Beginn des Albums als Gravitationszentrum, bei dem die Betonung des Sprechgestus des Musizierakts eine immer größere Rolle spielt. Faszinierend ist dabei, dass alle drei Musiker mit Ehrfurcht gegenüber dem Klang des eigenen Instrumentes spielen und die so implizierte Respektgrenze selbst in Phasen des intensivsten bohrenden Suchens nicht überschreiten. Die Entstehungsgeschichte von Tong-Gu verweist unmittelbar auf das Sprachgestische. Stefan hat es geschrieben, als er auf einer einmonatigen Residenz des Goethe-Instituts in Shanghai war. Im Chinesischen hat ein Wort - anders ausgesprochen - oft eine andere Bedeutung. Ohne korrekte Betonung der Wörter kann man nicht verstanden werden. Die Komposition spielt mit dem Gedanken der Umdeutung, jedoch nicht im Bereich der Tonhöhe, sondern in dem der Rhythmik; so wird im Thema der Komposition jeder Takt immer wieder rhythmisch umgedeutet, und es entstehen neue Bedeutungen. Das Wort Tong-Gu, mit Bindestrich geschrieben, ist ein Fantasiewort. Tong bedeutet sich ähneln und sich gleichen, ist aber auch ein Synonym für ein Zusammenkunftsplatz und eine Geheimverbindung, die in den USA und in Kanada entstand. Gu ist der Gott des Eisens und des Krieges.


Der aufmerksame Zuhörer wird auch an anderen Stellen des Albums immer wieder überraschende Entdeckungen machen, etwa beim Eingangsstück Edgewise, das als Hommage an die Musik von Morton Feldman angelegt ist und Klangverwandtschaften und das nicht determinierte Eintreten von Ereignissen thematisiert. Entdeckungsabenteuer satt gibt es auch bei Lucky Number, der Glückszahl in der Mathematik, die in diesem Stück für Reihen und deren freie Bearbeitung steht; die einzelnen Motive, die etwas kantig und sperrig wirken, werden mehr oder weniger auf Zeichen gespielt, und die Musiker müssen sich dabei manchmal einfach auch auf ihr Glück verlassen.

Neben den Stücken mit klar umschriebener Konzeption gibt es spontan im Studio als Improvisationen entstandene Tracks. Das Titelstück Behind Her Eyes gehört dazu und unterstreicht in schöner Vielschichtigkeit den offenen Ansatz dieses Trios mit seinem großen Interpretationsfreiraum und dem Verzicht auf eng Festgezurrtes.

Letztlich muss die Musik für sich selber sprechen, wie Miles Davis immer betonte. In diesem Sinne ist Behind Her Eyes ein äußerst beredtes Album. Thomas Fitterling

1 Edgewise (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 3:41
2 Capucine (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 7:21
3 Lucky Number (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 5:57
4 Flood (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 4:40
5 Behind Her Eyes (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 2:42
6 Tong-Gu (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 8:26
7 Core (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 3:01
8 Silent Song (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 7:32
9 Whereabouts (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 3:06
10 Blatny (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 5:41
11 While You Sleep (feat. Stefan Schultze & Tom Rainey) 3:44

Peter Ehwald: tenor saxophone
Stefan Schultze: piano
Tom Rainey: drums


Axel Mårdsjö - New Modernism (ABROVINSCH RECORDS 2017)



This is the wonderful debut from Swedish sax-player and composer extraordinaire, Axel Mårdsjö. The album was recorded live in concert at Artisten in Gothenburg, in the end of May 2017. With him on stage is some of the finest contemporary jazz musicians that you can find in Gothenburg, and it's evident in the sound.

The compositions show a wide range of Axel's musicality and skill as a composer. Layered rythms are mixed with complex and beautiful harmony. Allways highly musical and allways swinging.

1 Layers 9:41
2 Desert Song 9:17
3 A R 0:55
4 Pentacruel 6:31
5 Murviel Les Beziers 9:39
6 Velour 7:15
7 Hoary 6:08
8 A L 2:07
9 Time Machine 9:17

Axel Mårdsjö - Alto sax and composition
Olof Wullt - Guitars
Adam Lindbom - Double Bass
Stefan Wingefors - Piano
Adam Ross - Drums

martes, 12 de diciembre de 2017

Joe McPhee / Pascal Niggenkemper / Stale Liavik Solberg - Imaginary Numbers (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)



A living legend of the open-form kind of jazz he plays since the Sixties, Joe McPhee is one of the most requested players of several musical fronts besides jazz, from Pauline Oliveros’ “deep listening” approach to new music to the free rock coalition formed by The Thing and Cato Salsa Experience (he played the music of Led Zeppelin with them), going through a collaboration with the noise makers of Nihilist Spasm Band. In recent years, he’s being invited frequently to work with European musicians of the improvised music field, and this trio is one of those cases: we find him with the German-French double bassist Pascal Niggenkemper (mostly associated with people like Harris Eisenstadt, Frantz Loriot and Joachim Badenhorst) and the Norwegian drummer who initiated this trio Ståle Solberg, usual companion of the likes of John Russell, Steve Beresford and John Edwards. And free improvisation is what you have in “Imaginary Numbers”, even though the one with its inner essence derived from the tradition of free jazz – in this case, searching for a stronger connection with the source, as the piece “A Supreme Love”, dedicated to John Coltrane, testifies. Indeed, the music here seems a coming back to its original home, with the improvisatory ideas of the rhythm section making peace with all the American cultural bag we listen in the way McPhee uses the pocket trumpet and the tenor saxophone. But this isn’t the peace of the swamps: there’s tension all along the narratives, showing that a group improvisation isn’t the search of a lowest common denominator. There’s no bad record with Joe McPhee on it, but this one may be one of his best.

1. I 23:43
2. A Supreme Love (For John Coltrane) 10:19
3. Zero 9:03


All music by McPhee/Niggenkemper/Solberg (JOMAC Publishings / ASCAP – GEMA – TONO)

Recorded at JACK in Brooklyn on December 13th 2015 | Recorded by Jonathan Goldberger, mixed by Fred Lonberg-Holm, mastered by John Butcher
Produced by McPhee/Niggenkemper/Solberg | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos

João Camões / Jean-Luc Cappozzo / Jean-Marc Foussat - Autres Paysages (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)



The years spent in Paris by Portuguese violist João Camões prove to be fruitful once again with this new CD, his third with French synthesist Jean-Marc Foussat (the first one was a trio with Claude Parle and the second one a duo). This time, their creative partnership involves one of the most amazing trumpeters active today, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, and it goes to its highest pick ever. “Autres Paysages” is an intriguing opus of electro-acoustic improvisation, combining aspects of contemporary classical and experimental music with all the weight of the history of jazz, very well known by Cappozzo – the only French trumpet player, that we know of, to be invited by Dizzy Gillespie to play with him in concert. The music is collective in its essence, and sometimes it’s difficult to identify who is playing what in the formed clouds of timbre and pitch or, as we read in the liner notes of the record, «who hides behind the universality of sound». Preparations and extended techniques are used in the playing of the acoustic instruments, changing their respective tones and confusing them with the sounds coming from the electronic devices. But it’s not always like that, and both the viola and the trumpet find space to marvel us with its chamber and jazzy qualities, supported by the pulses of a Synthi AKS. Few times abstract music was this moody, putting you in a dreamlike state, surrendered to the beauty of it all.

1. L'espace Qui Nous Sépare 21:17
2. Des Tes Yeux Aux Miens 15:20
3. Berceuse Pour Manuel 17:24


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity - Live in Europe (3CD SET) CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017



If we were in the seventies and a release like this – a triple LP – crossed our way, we would think that progressive rock was receiving its most ambitious conceptual album ever, but no. The year is 2017 and “Live in Europe” is something else entirely: a celebration of improvised music in its purest form, recorded in concert – as it should. Gard Nilssen’s trio Acoustic Unity played in the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Ljubljana Jazz Festival and the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2016 and the entirety of those performances were documented. Only in the first vinyll we find the triangle formed by the drummer with André Roligheten and Petter Eldh. The second has the contributions of Fredrik Ljungkvist and the third of Kristoffer Alberts and Jørgen Mathisen. The effect, anyhow, is very similar: this is a very special edition, and it has the same impact in the present creative jazz scene that it would have 40 years ago if it was something coming from King Crimson or Frank Zappa. The importance of this group in instantaneous composition with jazz as its foundation is equivalent. Nilssen’s enthusiasm on the liner notes is very clear: this is «one of the best bands I’ve ever been a part of by far». Why? Because these musicians are re-inventing melody and rhythm while improvising, and that’s not a common task.

CD1
1. When Pigs Fly 4:53
2. Hymne / Roudtrip 11:31
3. Mormor 5:27
4. Jack 6:47
5. Zig Zag 3:07
6. Rushen 3:47
7. Gammal Rottegift 5:47

CD2
1. Summer Ale 7:09
2. Ruchen 4:59
3. Gammal Rottegift 7:35
4. Hymne / Roundtrip 9:35
5. Zig Zag 3:12
6. Salad Days 4:51

CD3
1. Hymne / Roundtrip 13:40
2. Mormor 7:56
3. When Pigs Fly 5:53
4. Utleimegleren 4:30
5. Zig Zag 5:14
6. Adam's Ale 4:58


Feat:
Fredrik Ljungkvist  tenor saxophone & clarinet (CD2)
Kristoffer Berre Alberts  alto,tenor & barytone saxophones (CD3)
Jørgen Mathisen  tenor saxophone & clarinet (CD3)

CD1 recorded live at North Sea Jazz Festival on July 8, 2016
CD2 recorded live at Ljubljana Jazz Festival on July 2, 2016
CD3 recorded live at Oslo Jazz Festival 18th of August 18, 2016

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – December 13, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m.


http://www.kzmu.org/listen.m3u ~ Use this link to access the show online.



The adjective “quicksilver” refers to someone or something that’s unpredictable, erratic or fickle; mercurial. Each of the versions of Horace Silver’s “Quicksilver” is unpredictable. Horace performs the first recorded version of his tune with Curly Russell’s bass and Art Blakey’s drums. This comes from in “Horace Silver Trio” (Blue Note 1952). While snooping for Silver’s version, I ran across the unlikely trumpet combination of West Coaster Conte Condoli with East Coaster Lee Morgan. They had a meeting in 1957 that resulted in their cover on “Double or Nothing” (Fresh Sound 1957/remastered 2003). This cut features Conte and Lee together with Bob Cooper (ts), Frank Rosolino (tb), Red Mitchell (b) and Wynton Kelly (p). Newcomer baritone saxophonist Glenn Kostur concludes our exploration of Silver’s tune with his “The Way of It” (Artist Alliance 2017) featuring Steve Kovalcheck’s guitar. Also new to the show comes Finland’s premiere reedman Eero Koivistoinen in a performance of “Big Five” - named after 5 African game animals and with a time signature of 5/4 – from his “Illusion” (Svart Records 2017). During this cut we’ll get reacquainted with the piano wizardry of Finland’s Alexi Tuomarila. Toronto based drummer Ernesto Cervini's Turboprop ~ “Rev” (Anzic Records 2017) brings this half to a close with his “The Libertine” featuring Joel Frahm and Tra Davidson’s reeds and Adrean Farrugia’s piano.

Sherman Irby’s “Momentum” kicks off the second half with a Jazz Messengers’ like cover of Irby’s “Racine” with solos by a Cannonball sounding Irby on alto, Vincent Gardner on trombone and Eric Reed’s piano. In a Cannonball Adderley recording that rivals Miles’ 1959 “Kind of Blue” – the bestselling jazz album of all time – “Somethin’ Else” (Blue Note 1958) gives us a taste of Nat Adderley’s “One for Daddy-O”. Cannonball’s alto improvises first followed by Miles, the incredible Hank Jones’ piano with a wrap-up from Cannonball and Miles. I had doubts seeing the album cover of Jimmy Chamberlin Complex’s “The Parable”, not to mention the first cut title “Horus and the Pharaoh”. “Don’t judge a book by . . .” works here. With Jimmy’s drums pushing the group forward we’ll hear from guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme, saxophonist Chris Speed and pianist Billy Mohler. Woody Herman’s First Herd concludes this half with a cover of Neal Hefti’s “The Good Earth” with Woody’s clarinet and a tenor solo from the wildly popular Flip Phillips who bridged the gap between swing and bop.

Ken Fowser returns to get the third half underway with the title track from his “Now Hear This!” (Posi-Tone Records 2017) with solos from Ken’s tenor, Josh Bruneau’s trumpet and Rich Germanson’s piano. Concord resurrected a Bill Evans Trio 1976 Madison, Wisconsin recording, naming it “On a Monday Evening (Live)”. With bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Eliot Zigmund, we’ll hear a cover of Frank Churchill’s “Someday My Prince Will Come”. My favorite living pianist, Marcin Wasilewski follows with Pawel Krawczyk Katarzyna Nosowska Marcin Zabrocki’s “Do Rycerzy, Do Szlachty, Do Mieszczan” (Knights, Nobles, Townspeople) featuring the usual trio - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, double bass - Michal Miskiewicz, drums – with Joakim Milder’s tenor from Marcin’s “Spark of Life (ECM 2014). Pianist Stanley Cowell gets us ready for romance with his trio cover of McCoy Tyner’s “You Taught My Heart to Sing” featuring Jay Anderson (b) and Billy Drummond (dr).

The Romantic Half-Hour begins with Sweden’s songbird, Jeanette Lindström’s eighth release, “Whistling Away the Dark” (2006). We get her cover of Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand’s “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” backed up by Sweden’s premiere pianist, Bobo Stenson. Miles Davis follows with a cover of Harry Warren’s “You’re My Everything” from his “Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet” (Prestige 1958), his second of four releases resulting from Davis’ famous May and October 1956 marathon sessions. We call the group – Miles, Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones – his first great quintet. “Love Like Ours”, a tune penned by Dave Grusin with lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman, follows as imagined by Alan’s magical vocal with a large ensemble from “Lyrically, Alan Bergman” (Verve 2007). Grammy winner Cécile McLorin Salvant’s “Dreams and Daggers” (MACK AVENUE RECORDS 2017) returns with her treatment of Jay Gorney and Sidney Clare’s “You’re My Thrill”. Gregory Porter pays his respects to Nat King Cole with a cover of Gladys Shelley’s “I Wonder Who My Daddy Is” from his “Nat King Cole & Me [Deluxe Edition]” (Blue Note 2017). I asked Karen Egert to return to the show with a cover of Bonnie Rait’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” from her “What Is This Thing Called Love” (2007 Karen Egert). My pleas to the gods of love come to an end. The rest is up to you.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. — Charles Schulz

Let's have some fun!

Thanks to Music Director Serah and friends around the world for the program's content.

Eve Risser / Kaja Draksler - To Pianos (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)



‘To Pianos’ can read as a dedication: an act of celebration of the instrument. But being a pianist, I also read the phrase as something of a supplication. We’ve each hopefully made some kind of peace with our own instruments at home – and if we’re lucky, we may even love them. But whenever we travel to perform, we’re at the mercy of the particular piano we find at the other end. Whatever cosmic force controls this particular lottery, sometimes you just have to pray to it.

All of which makes it remarkable that musicians such as Eve and Kaja sound so utterly distinctive each time they sit at the instrument. But there’s another thing: as pianists, we’re almost always the only one of us on stage; so that on those rare occasions where we do get to play with other pianists, there’s something thrilling about the particular type of selflessness which the situation requires. This, then, is perhaps even more remarkable: that the pianists you hear on these two pianos remain so individual and distinctive, and the same time as they are able to come together to forge something so completely new, shared and selfless. And a true rarity: that they can project such personality in part simply (…but if only it were simple…) by remembering to let the instruments speak for themselves.

We might almost be observing surgery, as they stand working deftly over the innards of their instruments. But at the same time, there’s a kind of glee in the experimentation itself, and this is where the music is assuredly different from surgery: an often-mischievous, always curious ‘what happens if I do this?’ attitude pervades this collaboration, and I for one am happy if doctors don’t think in this way.

If it balances playfulness and rigour in this disarming way, the music similarly exhibits humanity at the same time as celebrating its mechanical aspects. The pianists are brave in wresting out the strange and ugly sounds from their instruments; but in the context of experimental music, are perhaps even more fearless in being free enough also to deal with possibilities such as melody and romanticism. But listen harder, and you may also notice the machines here giving themselves away as living, breathing things: compare the pianos’ changing beauty as their overtone-laden brilliance early on in the album drifts almost imperceptibly towards a more ethereal wooziness later in their working day.

wo pianos, four hands; 176 tuned drums, two harps in boxes: but this doesn’t quite cover it. The listener will probably perceive any number of ‘other’ instrumental sonorities evoked at various stages during this music. If it’s clear that both pianists have the forensic inclination to mine the details of single sounds, they also possess the Ellingtonian conception of symphonic piano playing. Take, for example, the track To Women, and imagine it orchestrated: the exercise somehow seems to complete itself, entirely because the pianism is so replete with colour and nuance, and so immaculately organised with respect to so many musical parameters.

Abstraction and representation; romanticism and asceticism; playfulness and rigour; microscopic and panoramic perspectives; human and machine elements: all of these are in play here, and it would certainly be possible to write plenty more about this unique music. Ultimately, however, this is a special document because what it captures will almost certainly be quite unlike what you hear when you are fortunate enough to hear Kaja and Eve again. And the miracle of this is that when you do, you will still know instantly that it is them.

Alexander Hawkins

1. Dusk, Mystery, Memory, Community 6:49
2. To Pianists 10:20
3. Eclats 9:38
4. Sestri (To a Sister-Two Sisters) 5:20
5. Kallaste ou la Ville Abandonnée (Kallaste or The Ghost Town) 8:36
6. To Women 9:53
7. Walking Batterie Woman 5:40
8. To You 3:32


Recorded during the 57. Jazz Festival Ljubljana, on 2.7.2016, and 1.7.2017 in the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia | Recorded, mixed and mastered by Luis Delgado
Produced by Eve Risser and Kaja Draksler | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos | Drawings by Eve Risser | Liner notes by Alexander Hawkins