All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Extended Analysis

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...

344

JazzKamikaze: Jazz Kamikaze: Supersonic Revolutions

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz Kamikaze
Supersonic Revolutions
Seven Seas Music
2010



JazzKamikaze fairly exploded onto the music scene in 2005 by winning the Young Nordic Jazz Comets. Its first album, Mission 1 (Stunt Records/Sundance Music, 2006), featured high energy hard bop-meets-rock for the new millennium, and pianist Morten Schantz's memorable tunes were peppered with searing solos from the dual spearhead of saxophonist Marius Neset and guitarist Daniel Heloy-Davidsen. The band's second album, Traveling at the Speed of Sound (Stunt Records/Sundance Music, 2007,) saw guest trumpeter Matt Schulman widen the sonic palette, but two standout tunes, "Everest" and "Until the Sun Comes," with a progressive edge that lay between Genesis and Radiohead, hinted at greater changes to come. And boy, JazzKamikaze have indeed rung the changes this time.

Supersonic Revolutions is an apt title given that all 12 songs feature Schantz's vocals, a first for the previously instrumental band. The rip-snorting solos have largely taken a back seat to well-crafted, melodically pleasing songs which have more to do with sophisticated pop than jazz or jazz-rock—not that these labels will mean a thing to the guys in JazzKamikaze whose flight path is proving to be as unpredictable as it is entertaining.

The catchy "That Way She Drives Me" could almost have escaped from the Ah Ha songbook, but for metallic guitar-riff punctuation, Neset's chirping soprano and Schantz's rolling piano exclamation. Several of the songs have serious commercial possibilities as singles, not least the beautiful "Across the Palisades," with its irresistible vocal hook and Davidsen's hypnotic guitar coda which fades rather teasingly. A strong melodic vein has always run through Jazz Kamikaze's compositions and this is still the case, though Schantz's vocals are now the focal point.

Another unexpected change is the altered role of Davidsen. His electrifying solos were a highlight of JazzKamikaze's previous two CDs and his adrenalin-fueled duels with Neset a distinguishing feature of the band's identity; on Supersonic Revolutions he barely solos, but for a brief interjection at the tail of the driving opener, "Bring Back Spring." Now his role has become rhythmically more defined, turning out heavy riffs and Black Sabbath-like power chords, though there is plenty of unobtrusive subtlety in his playing as well which color the songs. Often in unison with bassist Kristor Brodsgaard, Davidsen brings a heavier bottom end to the music than before, which contrasts strikingly with the inherent melodicism of the songs. Drummer Anton Eger for his part is as energetic as ever, the real powerhouse of the band.

Lyrically speaking, these are pop songs pure and simple, though the music has depth and muscle aplenty. The bad-ass funk of "Music is my Heroin," which contains only these four words repeated like a mantra, has an infectious riffing sax and guitar of great intensity. This darker, heavier side to JazzKamikaze is heard especially in the outstanding "The Return of Al Bab Ehr and the Future Raiders," a heady, riff-based instrumental which serves as intro to the beautiful "Mournful Storms Have Passed Tonight." A killing vocal melody entrances before the return of the "Al Bab Ehr" riff which evokes the powerful rai of Algerian Rachid Taha. Neset makes a short but stirring statement on soprano, before the melody returns once more in epic manner, fading out slowly in an ethereal blending of sax and synth.

Both "m.e.c" and the album closer, "Acropolis," combine the band's uncommon ability to carve out a lyrical, memorable melody whilst maintaining a driving power. At eight minutes, "Acropolis" is almost twice as long as most of the other tunes and closes the CD on a typically epic JazzKamikaze note, complete with choir buoying Schantz's soaring vocals. With Supersonic Revolutions, JazzKamikaze has really lived up its name; it may have lost some older fans on this latest daring mission, but it is likely to find an entirely new and enthusiastic audience, and one for whom labels don't mean a thing.




Tracks: Bring Back Spring; Arch; That Way She Drives Me; Across The Palisades; Mystery Maze; Music Is My Heroin; Skies For You; The Return Of Bab El Ehr And The Future Raiders; Mournful Storms Have Passed Tonight; Half Of Me; m.e.c.; Acropolis.

Personnel: Morten Schantz: vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizer; Daniel Heloy Davidsen: guitars; Marius Neset: saxophones; Kristor Brodsgaard: bass; Anton Eger: drums; Asia Lucky: vocals (7, 9 ); Tore Nissen: synths (1, 7, 11); Ana Sara Lundgren: violin (2-5, 7-9, 12); Tave Carlissan: viola (2-5, 7-9, 12); Daniel Eklund: viola, (2-5, 7-9, 12); Karin Andersson: cello (2-5, 7-9, 12); Mathilde Kirknaes; Mette Iyshol Urikkeholm; Kristine Ringsager; Jacob Skjoldborg; Valdemar Villadsen; Emil Ritter; Jacob Soelberg: choir (2, 12).

Track Listing:

Personnel:

Title: Jazz Kamikaze: Supersonic Revolutions | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Hitman Jazz

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis
Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis
Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis
Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack Extended Analysis
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead...
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis
Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981" Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Grateful Dead: Cornell '77" Extended Analysis Grateful Dead: Cornell '77
by Doug Collette
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition" Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Chick Corea: The Musician" Extended Analysis Chick Corea: The Musician
by John Kelman
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017