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

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Soul Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Door Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Turbulence" CD/LP/Track Review Turbulence
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Red Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Red Planet
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 2, 2018
Read "Making Other Arrangements" CD/LP/Track Review Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018