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...

4

ZAKS: Live at 5e

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
In the music business, bootlegs are generally considered a bad thing. Often poorly recorded and not sanctioned by the artists. However, while some people with dubious intentions have definitely speculated in earning quick cash, there are also others, who have simply recorded music because they were such big fans that it was a necessity to document everything by a certain artist or group.

One of the most famous examples of this kind of musical passion is the bootleg recordings of pianist Bill Evans during his residency at The Village Vanguard. They were done by his avid fans, Mike and Evelyn Harris, and later released officially as The Secret Sessions.

The great advantage of such "secret" recordings is that they catch the musicians off guard. Especially in jazz, where improvisation plays such an important role, it is difficult to document the spark that suddenly ignites the music and makes it truly special. It is something that is hard to plan. Sometimes it just happens and then it is lucky that someone with a tape recorder is present.

This was the case when the band ZAKS played a highly memorable concert during Copenhagen Jazz Festival, 2014. The band's name is an acronym that hides four notable musicians on the Danish jazz scene: saxophonist Jesper Zeuthen, pianist Jacob Anderskov, drummer Rune Kielsgaard and bassist Jeppe Skovbakke. It was the first time they played together as a unit and their inspired meeting was recorded by a member of the audience. The recordings were presented to the band and are now available as an official release on the experimental jazz label, ILK.

The concert was based on improvisations that became instant compositions. There are seven tracks in all, simply named Zaks 1, Zaks 2 etc. Zaks 1-5 constitute a separate, improvised suite. It is an epic journey in five chapters that starts out with Kielsgaard's whispering cymbals and Anderskov's lyrical musings on the piano, balancing a light, singing touch and dark, dense chords. The monumental change happens when five minutes into the music, saxophonist Jesper Zeuthen enters with a fanfare. Zeuthen is one of the most original stylists on the Danish jazz scene and deserves wide recognition. His tone is sometimes compared to Albert Ayler, but it is more light and closer to the heritage of Scandinavian folk songs than gospel. His deep cry is emotional and cleansing.

Together the four musicians achieve the kind of close communication that underlines everything that is great about jazz. "Zaks 6" is almost as powerful as the previous section, and the ending on "Zaks 7," with Zeuthen's vibrating saxophone lines, and Anderskov's rolling piano waves, is a worthy way to close an outstanding concert. Recording it doesn't deserve to be called a bootleg. It was a beautiful gesture.

Track Listing: Zaks 1; Zaks 2; Zaks 3; Zaks 4; Zaks 5; Zaks 5; Zaks 6; Zaks 7.

Personnel: Jesper Zeuthen: alto saxophone; Jacob Anderskov: piano; Rune Kielsgaard: drums; Jeppe Skovbakke: bass.

Title: Live at 5e | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: ILK Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live at 5e

Live at 5e

ILK Music
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Glassbath" CD/LP/Track Review Glassbath
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 6, 2018
Read "Hugo Fattoruso Y Barrio Opa" CD/LP/Track Review Hugo Fattoruso Y Barrio Opa
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: July 28, 2018
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Phenobarbital Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review Phenobarbital Sessions
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 2, 2018
Read "The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore" CD/LP/Track Review The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "An Eye on the Future" CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017