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Entries from June 2012

Choban: Elektrik

Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Jordan Shapiro extends the reach of Balkan music with a gentrified twist, hinting at a New York City downtown aura amid the indigenous fundamentals that coalesce into a variegated offering. With straight-four backbeats, streaming violins, harmonious vocal chants and dreamy electronics maneuvers, the album presents a nouveau spin on traditional southeastern European folk…

Date: Jun 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Sidsel Endresen: One

While those around her were busy exploring the nexus of technology and conventional instrumentation at the 2006 Punkt Festival in Kristiansand, Norway, Sidsel Endresen was demonstrating just how much could be done with one unaltered human voice. One documents the advances she’s made in stretching the potential of voice and articulation.

Date: Jun 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Sara Gazarek: Blossom and Bee

Vocalist Sara Gazarek was in a recording slumber for the past half decade, but 2012 seems to be the year that this sleeping jazz vocal beauty finally awakens. She eased her way back into the ears of her fans with Where Time Stands Still (Charleston Square Recordings, 2012), a collaboration that paired her with the Germany’s m: Triosence , and returns full force now, with the sublime Blossom and Bee. This twelve-song program is strongly influenced by the work of vocalist m: Blossom Dearie but, like m: Amy Cervini ‘s Dearie-derived Digging Me Digging You (Anzic, 2012), it isn’t a tribute album. Both artists simply appreciate Dearie’s artistry, allowing it to filter into their own work and, since they come at the music in different manners and only overlap on a few songs, their albums actually serve as interesting companion pieces…

Date: Jun 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Adam Baldych And The Baltic Gang: Imaginary Room

Despite the perceived similarities between musical groups and gangs, there are surprisingly few examples of bands with a “gang” appellation. There’s American rockers the James Gang, Brit-punks the Tyla Gang and of course there’s the Purple Gang (although that was just a rhythm section). Imaginary Room, the debut release from violinist Adam Baldych and The Baltic Gang, has none of this outlaw chic, but there’s plenty of excitement to be found in the music…

Date: Jun 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Remi Alvarez / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: First Duet Live

Tenor saxophonist Remi A€lvarez has drawn several musicians into his sphere as an improviser. The collaborations have spawned several fine recordings that brim with intense interplay and resolute imagination.

Date: Jun 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Stian Westerhus: Pitch Black Star Spangled

With advances in technology allowing musicians to turn real-time solo performances into works of near-orchestral expansiveness, the concept of a solo guitar album has become something much different than when guitarists like Lenny Breau turned the instrument on its side with Five O’Clock Bells (Genes, 1977), deceptively sounding like the work of two guitarists with no overdubbing, no effects. There’s little in the canon of solo guitar–with the possible exception of Derek Bailey and Fred Frith –that can prepare or set precedence for Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus and Pitch Black Star Spangled, an album that utterly redefines the concept of solo recording…

Date: Jun 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Rodrigo Amado: Burning Live At Jazz AO Centro

Rodrigo Amado’s improvising Motion Trio might be better described as The Confluence Trio or Conflux, because its sound is a meeting of rivers. Like the three rivers of Pittsburgh, where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers join to create the Ohio River, or Sangam, India where the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati meet, the music of the Motion Trio flows together to create a seamless whole, as was quite evident on its self-titled debut, Motion Trio (European Echoes, 2010)…

Date: Jun 26th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews