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Album Review

Trøen Arnesen Quartet: Tread Lightly

Read "Tread Lightly" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The line that separates borrowing from stealing can be quite narrow in music, and even after judges rule on the matter, one may remain torn between the one and the other. It continues to be a very common issue in the mainstream pop world as the recent ruling against pop stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for ripping off Marvin Gaye's “Got to Give It Up" in their 2013 world-wide number 1 hit “Blurred Lines" shows. Although not nearly as ...


Album Review

Arne Torvik: Northwestern Songs

Read "Northwestern Songs" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

A vibrant modern jazz hub, Norway is famous for having introduced the likes of Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Jon Christensen and Arild Andersen to the international jazz landscape--all of whom had brought something fundamentally new to the jazz tradition in the '70s. As chance would have it, each of the mentioned heavyweights were also mainly at home with the Munich-based ECM label, whose head and main director Manfred Eicher knew then and continues to know today how to best sonically ...


Album Review

Rubber Soul Quartet: Blackbird

Read "Blackbird" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's doubtless impossible for anyone to avoid some degree of cliché when tackling the Beatles yet again. Of course there have been covers beyond count, and even adapting the band's songs to other genres (jazz not least among them) is well-trodden ground. Still, this quartet does a solidly enjoyable job in going for playfulness more than pastiche. The success of any such tribute also depends on the sincerity of the performance, and on that count they deliver perfectly. The group's ...


Album Review

Johnsen / Sahlander / Moen: Second Time's The Charm

Read "Second Time's The Charm" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Bernt Moen's second trio strike with bassist Fredrik Sahlander and drummer Geir Age Johnsen is a balanced set of a few atmospheric Moen originals and well-known standards. Like on predecessor 1+1=3 (Losen Records, 2020), Second Time's The Charm sees the players interpret standards loosely, adding modern influences and physical interplay to popular melodies that sometimes venture beyond recognition. In the past Moen spent the vast majority of his time playing keyboard in metal acts such as Green Carnation, ...


Album Review

Eivind Austad: That Feeling

Read "That Feeling" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Presenting an equal amount of originals and covers/standards, Norwegian pianist Eivind Austad's New Orleans Trio channels The Big Easy's musical spirit through gospel-tinged ruminations, extended blues forms and a healthy portion of New Orleans shuffle on the collaboration's debut effort. Following only a year after Austad's sophomore outing Northbound (Losen Records, 2019) saw the light of day, That Feeling takes up the geographical connectivity of its predecessor, but this time around moves to the music to Louisiana along the Mississippi ...


Album Review

Sverre Gjørvad: Elegy Of Skies

Read "Elegy Of Skies" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Sverre Gjørvad's 2019 offering Voi River (Losen Records) saw the Norwegian drummer painting minimalist sketches that mirrored his native environment. Taking up that thematic thread, his follow up effort opts for the gaze upward, reflecting on Norway's firmament in a musical Elegy of Skies. As compared to the predecessor, Gjørvad's 2020 sketchbook of ideas is even more melodically concise, conceptually stringent and technically refined. It sees him in expressive and sensitive interplay with a quartet that always seems to know ...


Album Review

Pericopes+1: Up

Read "Up" reviewed by Geno Thackara

For a recording titled Up, this one sure spends a lot of time going sideways. Cue the opening track and you're carried away on waves of briskly-flowing piano and saxophone as if there isn't a thing in the world to worry about. The feel becomes a bit more angular with the next, the drums leaning somewhat jittery as the sax breaks up the smoothness with a few heavier wails. It turns out they're only getting started; the players soon takes ...


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