What's up with jny: Oslo, Norway? Two of the outstanding recordings by of 2014 have come out of the city: pianist Paul Bley's Play Blue (ECM Records), and now Los Angeles-based pianist Chris Dundas' Oslo Odyssey (BLM Records). Dundas' profile isn't exactly soaring through the stars. He has one previous recording as a leader to his name, a very good mainstream affair from the year 2000, featuring saxophonist Bob Sheppard. What Oslo Odyssey represents for Dundas is something of a (bluesman) Robert Johnson moment--he slips off the recording radar for a long spell, then comes back with a ...read more
The debut of Arild Andersen's now longstanding trio with Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith and Italian expat drummer Paolo Vinaccia on Live at Belleville (ECM, 2008) came as no small surprise, even to those familiar with the Norwegian bassist's work on the label--dating right back to its inception on Jan Garbarek's classic Afric Pepperbird (ECM, 1971), as well as with his own fine triptych of more accessible early albums, recently collected on Green Into Blue--Early Quartets (ECM, 2010). Andersen has proven, over a career now spanning six decades, to be a bassist with a muscular tone and broad stylistic ...read more
Arild Andersen Celebration ECM Records 2012 With all the activities surrounding the 40th anniversary of ECM Records in 2009--from a three-day festival-within-a-festival at that year's Enjoy Jazz Festival in Mannheim, Germany, and the budget-priced Touchstone Series reissue of forty essential ECM titles, to the publication of an all-German book of commissioned writing, Die Blaue Klang (Wolke Verlag, 2010), and the follow-up to 1996's much coveted and out-of-print Sleeves of Desire: A Cover Story (Lars Müller Publishers, 1996)--it is, perhaps, something of a surprise that there weren't any more specifically musical celebrations of a label that, ...read more
More than forty years ago, Norwegian bassist, Arild Andersen joined saxophonist Jan Garbarek and the late Finnish drummer Edward Vesala to record the groundbreaking Triptykon (ECM 1972), one of these musicians' most energized work. It's a happy coincidence that the new millennium has seen both Garbarek and Andersen--ECM artists, both--create what may be their individual masterpieces--Live at Belleville, in the bassist's case. Andersen's intervening ECM years have generated an impressive catalog of high quality work including Molde Concert (1982), Sagn (1991) and Hyperborean (1997), but these have been more introspective efforts. As much as Live at Belleville is an accomplishment ...read more
Arild Andersen Green In Blue: Early Quartets ECM Records 2010 He's one of Norway's Big Four"--a group of artists who, with the assistance of the emerging ECM label in the early 1970s, kick-started international focus on the music from a country that, despite its relatively small population, has become a truly vital force in the evolution of jazz over the past 40 years. Alongside saxophonist Jan Garbarek, guitarist Terje Rypdal and drummer Jon Christensen--as well as Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson--bassist Arild Andersen has been responsible for a real paradigm shift, one ...read more
The general international perception of Norway's jazz scene as Nordic Cool," is, like most generalizations, inevitably distanced from truth. Atomic, The Core and Motif may possess no shortage of heat, but ECM has undeniably helped define that unmistakable Norwegian aesthetic. One of the big four," brought to international attention in the early 1970s alongside guitarist Terje Rypdal, saxophonist Jan Garbarek, and drummer Jon Christensen, bassist Arild Andersen's ECM releases have largely avoided the kind of burning improvisational energy of his powerful trio disc Triptykon (1973), with Garbarek and Finnish drummer Edward Vesala. Live at Belleville--Andersen's first live album for ECM ...read more
It's not uncommon to find bassists and drummers who work together so well that they become almost inseparable; often hired together because of their distinctive simpatico. It's rarer to find full groups with their own signature, expanding their vernacular by recruiting others for alternate ideas. Trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, bassist Arild Andersen and percussionist Patrice Heral have been working together since 1998 but, despite a singular aesthetic, it's their guest collaborators who have helped build a small but diverse body of work; each project blending recognizable elements and fresh perspectives.
Electric Treasures is the first time they've ...read more
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