All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

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...

Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar with David Torn: Vortex

Read "Vortex" reviewed by

It might be all too simple to explain away Sonar, the Swiss twin-guitar/bass/drums quartet now in its eighth year together, through a series of touchstones. King Crimson, by way of that band's co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft? Check. The influence of Nik Bartsch and Don Li's innovative meshing of Steve Reich-ian minimalism with deceptively complicated polyrhythmic and isorhythmic rock/funk grooves, where as much as can be is made of as little as possible? Double Check. Guitarist and primary composer Stephan ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar with David Torn: Vortex

Read "Vortex" reviewed by

Swiss art rock/minimalist band Sonar have always had a way with a groove, combining repeating patterns (frequently in mixed meters) into a hypnotic blend. In this they have a lot in common with Steve Reich's Musicians (in the new-music world) and fellow Swiss Nik Bärtsch's Ronin (in the jazz world). Sonar has always sounded like a rock band, but somewhat restrained. With American guitarist/looper David Torn as producer and collaborator it has found its id: music with a rougher, more ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar: Black Light

Read "Black Light" reviewed by

By virtue of its experimental and often convoluted definition, progressive jazz seems to require an increasingly larger umbrella. Under that broadly encompassing category, the Switzerland- based quartet SONAR is a noteworthy and unconventional standout. Black Light is their fourth release (but only the second to be made widely available) and for those who have followed the artistic development of the group it is all the more revelatory an experience. SONAR has nuanced the more percussive tone of Static Motion (Cuneiform ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar: Static Motion

Read "Static Motion" reviewed by

At a time when more recordings are released than ever before, it's rare to find a group that not just changes the way music is made, but the way it's defined. That description could easily fit Swiss pianist Nik Bartsch and his longstanding group Ronin, its Ritual Groove Music jettisoning overt virtuosity and conventional form for ultra-disciplined structural constructs and a deeper kind of interaction amongst its members. The same can be said, however, for Sonar, whose A Flaw of ...