All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Mikkel Ploug: Alleviation

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Alleviation is a fascinatingly winsome document showcasing what occurs when tool serves as muse. While out and about in New York in 2016, Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug happened upon a musical curio—a mahogany-top Gibson Banner LG-2. The instrument, essentially a wartime relic made by the (mostly) female work force in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant in the early '40s, was a worn-down wonder, preserved yet clearly put through life's demands. But the personality, quality of sound, and innate character of this guitar couldn't be dampened by time or wear. Ploug acquired it, put down his trusted ES-330 Gibson for a spell, picked up this new companion, and started to let his creative juices flow.

These thirteen solo tracks represent a portion of what came of Ploug's quality time with this acoustic ax. Guided by the instrument's sound, sensibilities, and subtleties, he created a wide variety of concise compositions that shine with beauty and depth. There are episodes of flowering in sound ("Florescence"), expressions of a personalized folk patois ("With Open Arms," "Einer"), minimalist motifs nodding toward Steve Reich ("Circle Wind"), and glimmering cascades of notes ("Alleviation"). Proper salute to two dissimilar inspirational figures—composition icon Olivier Messiaen ("Coulers d'Olivier") and otherworldly guitar avatar Ben Monder ("Luminous")—even make it onto the playlist.

Whether engaging in angular fingerpicking, strumming serene chords, taking a concept to its furthest endpoints, or digging down to the roots of an idea, Mikkel Ploug finds a way to meld mind and matter into one unified musical sound here. Alleviation is neither the end result of a man's explorations of a guitar nor a guitar's expression of its own truths; it's the product of a marriage between the two.

Track Listing: Night Space; Florescence; With Open Arms; Arabesque; Circle WInd; Einer; Coulers D' Olivier; Safari; Grundtvig Reflections; Luminous; Alleviation; Overseas; Road Trip.

Personnel: Mikkel Ploug: acoustic guitar.

Title: Alleviation | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Hi-Res Jazz
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Faroe

Faroe

Sunnyside Records
2018

buy
Alleviation

Alleviation

Songlines Recordings
2017

buy
Liquid Light

Liquid Light

Songlines Recordings
2015

buy
Liquid Light

Liquid Light

Songlines Recordings
2014

buy
Harmoniehof

Harmoniehof

Fresh Sound New Talent
2009

buy
Equilibrium

Equilibrium

Songlines Recordings
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Is Life Long?" CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Shamat" CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Cabin In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Cabin In The Sky
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 16, 2018