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...

399

Jakob Bro: Balladeering

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Throughout the process of recording Balladeering, Danish guitarist Jakob Bro was followed closely by filmmaker Sune Blicher, who documented the sessions, which took place at the famous Avatar studios in New York, capturing the poetry of the music in pregnant images. A recurrent motif in the movie is musicians engrossed in listening, and this particular framing also finds its way into the photos by Robert Lewis that grace the album, becoming a metaphor for the music itself and the spirit of creation.

More than anything, Bro could be termed "a listening musician." He creates his poetic compositions as open structures that invite interpretation. It is Bro's special gift that he is able to make music both melodically enchanting and not locked in predefined patterns.

The opener, "Weightless," is an example of how a simple melodic guitar figure is expanded and transcended into a translucent texture of sounds, with drummer Paul Motian's feathery touch working around the complex tapestry of guitar lines created by Bro and fellow guitarist Bill Frisell.

On "Evening Song," legendary saxophonist Lee Konitz joins the quartet and plays with a tone that seems to embody the beauty and pain of a lifetime, while "Terrace Place," with its mild dissonance and melancholy mood, finds the musicians speaking in a unified language where the guitarists' bended strings and loops are complemented by Konitz's circular blowing and Ben Street's elegant, almost invisible, bass patterns.

Balladeering is a true artwork, which brings out the best in the Participants; Konitz has not played better in some time. The album, however, is not about individual brilliance, but rather a proof of jazz as a listening art form that invites the unexpected and transcends egos. Such beauty is only possible if the compositions do not limit the potential of the music. Here, all possibilities are kept open and the result is a music that is infinitely rich in its democratic beauty.

A note: Balladeering is available both as a single CD release and as a deluxe box, which features the album in both CD and vinyl versions and adds Blicher's fascinating documentary about the making of the album, Weightless: A Recording Session with Jakob Bro.

Track Listing: Weightless; Evening Song; Vraa; Starting Point (Acoustic Version); Greenland; Terrace Place; Sort; Starting Point (Electric Version).

Personnel: Jakob Bro: guitar; Bill Frisell: guitar; Lee Konitz: alto saxophone; Ben Street: bass; Paul Motian: drums.

Title: Balladeering | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Loveland Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "The Urmuz Epigrams" CD/LP/Track Review The Urmuz Epigrams
by Don Phipps
Published: April 9, 2018
Read "Kinship" CD/LP/Track Review Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2018
Read "Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Interchange
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 8, 2018
Read "Fatidic Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Fatidic Dreams
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Body" CD/LP/Track Review Body
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 10, 2018