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Entries from November 2012

Jasmine Lovell-Smith’s Towering Poppies: Fortune Songs

Plenty of artists play soprano saxophone, either as their weapon of choice or as an auxiliary axe, yet the instrument’s inherent gift for melody is still under-explored in jazz. m: John Coltrane used it to probe deep into the recesses of sound itself, m: Wayne Shorter takes it on stratospheric flights, darting and daring all the while, and m: Sam Newsome works it to its limits through the use of extended techniques. m: Branford Marsalis , perhaps the most notable practitioner on the soprano saxophone today, tends to lean toward a modern menacing sound, classical sense of aural construction or a NOLA-based, m: Sidney Bechet -influenced style when he puts his tenor down and picks up this horn.

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

Elisabeth Lohninger Quartet: Live

Austrian-American Renaissance woman Elisabeth Lohninger is many things. She is a singer, composer, producer, writer, teacher and studio owner. Over the past several years Lohninger has found time to record four collections with her quartet: Beneath Your Surface (Lofish, 2005), The Only Way Out is Up (Lofish, 2007), Songs of Love and Destruction (Lofish, 2010), and Christmas in July (Jazz Sick, 2011).

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

Petter Wettre Next Generation: The Social Media Tapes

Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre is one of the more prominent musicians in Norway’s fertile, contemporary jazz scene. He never associated himself with the ECM school of icy, lyrical jazz, and his musical output has always corresponded with American post-bop and free jazz. Wettre also stands in the forefront in pursuit of new means to deliver his art. In 2003, he founded his own label, Household Records.

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

Lotz / Kneer: U-EX(perimental)

In 2009, Dutch flautist Mark Alban Lotz and bassist m: Meinrad Kneer initiated a monthly creative music series, titled U-EX(perimental), at Centraal Museum in Utrecht, presenting performances of spontaneous free improvisations. After about 120 concerts Lotz and Kneer decided to document some of these unique musical meetings in a tiny studio in Amsterdam–so tiny that there was no place for a drum set or piano…

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

Nils Landgren: Christmas With My Friends III

The test of a great Christmas album is simple: will it sound good in August? Christmas With My Friends III should ace that particular test. Even those who derive most festive fun from repeatedly grunting “Bah, Humbug” at passing kindergarten children will be drawn into the spell of this music. Beautifully performed by some of the European jazz scene’s finest singers and musicians, the gentle grace of the music comes to the fore and serves as a reminder of Christmas’ spiritual quality…

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

Richard Nelson Large Ensemble: Pursuit

Brooding, ECM-like soundscapes and thick, tense harmonies predominate on Pursuit, from Maine-based guitarist Richard Nelson. A student of avant-garde composers Donald Erb and Mario Davidovsky, and a core member of m: Mark Harvey ‘s Boston- based m: Aardvark Jazz Orchestra , Nelson takes a few cues from these experiences, and adds more than a few of his own, to come up with a distinctive synthesis of modern jazz, and contemporary orchestral music…

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

Dave King with Bill Carrothers and Billy Peterson: I’ve Been Ringing You

Drummer Dave King’s major fame and fortune–though mostly fame; this is, after all, jazz we’re talking about–comes from his work with m: The Bad Plus . That particular modern piano trio can go loud, combining elements of pop and rock while delving into the avant-garde side of jazz. TBP has been described as bombastic, but King doesn’t limit himself to his main gig. He works in several side projects, and for his I’ve Been Ringing You, he joins up with fellow Minnesotans, pianist m: Bill Carrothers and bassist m: Billy Peterson , who blend their talents on a distinctive set of Great American Songbook standards and familiar tunes…

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