Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

97

Album Review

James Johnson: Entering Twilight

Read "Entering Twilight" reviewed by John W. Patterson


I recently saw this release listed in a newsgroup as ambient music to fall asleep to — I agree. This release of Johnson’s evokes that moment when you are coming down from awe or an intense epiphany. I mean it conveys that sense of relaxed but fading wonder, the in-between places of undirected contemplation.The is a continuous play, one song, one composition, one mood piece. It has somewhat of a fade in, then weaves endlessly to nowhere and ...

133

Album Review

Vidna Obmana: Soundtrack for the Aquarium

Read "Soundtrack for the Aquarium" reviewed by AAJ Staff


“Vidna Obmana" (whose real name is Dirk Serries) evokes the sunless wet gloom of his native Belgium in this two-CD set which, as its name says, is music composed by Obmana as background sound for an aquarium installation. The first disc has seven sections of his atmospheric (or rather, aquatic) ambience, dating from '92 and '93. The second disc is also a recording from 1993, using some of the same material – performed in Germany, according to the notes, at ...

153

Album Review

Stefano Musso: Sola Translatio

Read "Sola Translatio" reviewed by AAJ Staff


This esoteric recording by two Italians who go under many pseudonyms is definitely along the lines of the mystical American ambientmaster Robert Rich. This is not a surprise, as “Alio Die" (Stefano Musso; the pseudonym means “On another Day" in Latin) collaborated with Rich on the equally arcane 1997 album Fissures. Like Rich, the Italian duo concentrate on sustained and cool-textured synthesizer and sampled-instrument drones. They use the same digital looping techniques as Rich, to create rhythm and pattern. And ...

168

Album Review

Paul Vnuk, Jr.: Silence Speaks in Shadow

Read "Silence Speaks in Shadow" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Paul Vnuk has done some fine ambient work in collaboration with “Vir Unis" and Steve Roach in the last decade. Here he is on his own in an extended ambient atmosphere, a “sound-picture" or as he calls it, “psycho-environmental music." The album notes speak truth: “The open windows and industrial sounds of a rain-drenched city can have a strange calming effect on the soul." What you get for your 74 minutes of silence and shadow is the sound of rain ...

209

Album Review

Markus Reuter: Digitalis

Read "Digitalis" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Hypnos Recordings always brings us fascinating music. Digitalis comes from Markus Reuter in Germany. Like Hypnos' Jeff Pearce, Reuter uses only electronically modified and custom-built guitars to make his sounds, and as in much of Pearce's work, Reuter records “real-time." Again like Pearce, you'd never know that Reuter was playing a guitar or any other stringed instrument - it sounds just like a synthesizer.

Despite the commonalities, Reuter and Pearce are very different. Reuter, in Digitalis , uses the overwrought ...

128

Album Review

Robert Rich: Sunyata

Read "Sunyata" reviewed by AAJ Staff


In the field of ambient music there’s no one quite like Robert Rich. For 20 years now, he’s been bringing his nocturnal, eerie vision to the world through electronic music designed to alter consciousness, even when the listeners are asleep. Sunyata is a re-mastering of recordings made by Rich in 1981, when he was first experimenting with his “sleep concerts” at Stanford University, where he was then a student. Recently, Rich has been re-releasing his live concert performances from the ...

233

Album Review

Vidna Obmana: Landscape in Obscurity

Read "Landscape in Obscurity" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Listening to this long ambient album by Obmana is like gazing into a shimmering pool of water in a secluded shadowy garden. It is restful and quiet and it makes no demands on your tired mind. Usually I associate the Belgian Vidna Obmana with dreary hours of melancholy electronic droning but this piece by him has a much lighter, sweeter sound to it. Some of this is due to his use of flute and saxophone riffs, most of them electronically ...


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