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19

Album Review

Food: This Is Not a Miracle

Read "This Is Not a Miracle" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


British/Norwegian experimental jazz group Food have done something a little different with each album, especially since downsizing from a quartet to the duo of Iain Ballamy and Thomas Stronen (plus guests). For this one they are joined again by Austrian guitarist and electronics player Christian Fennesz--but Strønen has taken the lead. He explains “With Food, it's democracy all the way, as far as Iain and I are concerned, but with this record I had the time and the will and ...

16

Album Review

Food: This Is Not a Miracle

Read "This Is Not a Miracle" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Since the formation of Food, more than a dozen years ago, the duo at its core, saxophonist Iain Ballamy and drummer Thomas Strønen, have remained the nucleus of a small but impressive coop of players who have added their unique creative ideas to an already out-of-the-mainstream entity whose philosophy has been to stun without their lasers on full force. This is Not a Miracle continues the Food ritual without looking backwards or forsaking well thought-out processes. The “guest" ...

15

Album Review

Food: Mercurial Balm

Read "Mercurial Balm" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In their sophomore outing on the ECM label, Food continues their shape-shifting evolution, both in personnel and musical outcomes. With influences of jazz, electronica and world music, UK saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian percussionist Thomas Strønen remain as the nucleus of a group that has managed to reinvent itself with each of its seven releases. Through their fruition from a standing quartet to an augmented duo, there has been an ethereal consistency in context and quality. Mercurial Balm is something ...

8

Album Review

Food: Mercurial Balm

Read "Mercurial Balm" reviewed by John Kelman


While Anglo/Norwegian musical encounters have recently been on the rise--Norway's In the Country and Jaga Jazzist, for example, recently discovering respective nexus points with British pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole and the Britten Sinfonia--it's of no small significance that Food has been exploring trans-national connective threads for a considerably longer time, with its eponymous 1999 recorded debut on British saxophonists Iain Ballamy's Feral imprint recorded nearly 15 years ago, at the 1998 Molde International Jazz Festival.But much has ...

5

Album Review

Food: Mercurial Balm

Read "Mercurial Balm" reviewed by David McLean


Food's seventh studio album and second for the ECM label is easily the most cohesive offering from its varied discography. A combination of live and studio recordings, British saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian beat technician Thomas Strønen travel through a rich plateau of effervescent electronics, propulsive yet angular rhythms and near twilight jazz phrasings, which combine to create a heady, ethno-centric mix. As on Quiet Inlet (ECM, 2010), the duo continues to bring in similarly disciplined experimenters to add to ...

463

Album Review

Food: Molecular Gastronomy

Read "Molecular Gastronomy" reviewed by John Kelman


Losing a key member of a quartet can be challenging; losing two can be disastrous. There's no doubt that the departure of bassist Mats Eilertsen and trumpeter Arve Henrkisen from Anglo/Norwegian improvising collective, Food, has mandated significant change since its final effort as a quartet, Last Supper (Rune Grammofon, 2004). Based on their performance at Punkt '06 in Norway, however, British woodwind multi-instrumentalist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian percussionist Thomas Stronen have more than enough to continue on, a fact made ...

219

Album Review

Food: Last Supper

Read "Last Supper" reviewed by John Kelman


On the basis of its title, Last Supper may be the final recording of the Anglo/ Norwegian group Food. And that's a shame, because over the course of four albums Food has evolved from a group of interesting free improvisers to an ensemble that organically blends electronics with said free improvisation, creating a distinctive voice that reflects not only the strong personalities of all involved, but a group identity that manages to be strangely accessible and highly compelling.


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