Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!



Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
MONOGLOT comes by their band name honestly, a Swiss/German/Icelandic jazz/rock quintet based in Basel, Switzerland that speaks with one voice. Their music is all instrumental, and the improvisational elements clearly mark it as jazz, but the rock elements are strong as well. This is a contemporary group with one foot in the jazz tradition and another in the rock music they no doubt all grew up with.

While led by Icelandic guitarist and composer Kristinn Smári Kristinsson, in many ways the group is defined by the dueling saxophones of Fabian Willmann and Sebastian Von Keler. It's very much an ensemble sound, so sometimes the horns play together in a traditional jazz fashion (as on the opening tune "Out"); other times they will take turns soloing while the other accompanies (as on "78"); and they also play together polyphonically (as on "Grandpa's Song"). Kristinsson also gets lots of solo space, but even those sections bring the horns back into the mix before long.

At times the influence of minimalism (could be Philip Glass, Steve Reich, or a more local source like Nik Bärtsch's Ronin) is also audible, especially in the linked closing tracks "Time" and "Sofðu Unga Ástin Mín." These tracks give drummer Luca Glausen and electric bassist Samuel Sole a more prominent role: neither gets any solo space, but Glausen begins both tunes alone.

It is notable that the group successfully funded the final production of the recording via the crowdfunding site wemakeit. But it would be right at home on a label like Cuneiform, sharing a spiritual link with Canterbury rock/jazz fusion.

Track Listing: Out; Þunnur; 78; Jón Leifs; Grandpa's Song; Song For; Brennivín; Time; Sofðu Unga Ástin Mín

Personnel: Fabian Willmann: tenor & soprano sax; Sebastian Von Keler: tenor & soprano sax; Kristinn Smári Kristinsson: guitar; Samuel Sole: electric bass; Luca Glausen: drums.

Title: MONOGLOT | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Contact" CD/LP/Track Review Contact
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "A Pouting Grimace" CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Molto Bene" CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Eos" CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!