Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

5

Album Review

Nik Bärtsch: Entendre

Read "Entendre" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Prepared, primal architecture sparks the core of pianist Nik Bartsch's rapid fire, polymetric obsessions. So he titles his works moduls (German) or modules as the are known in King's English. Each piece adaptable and transactional to the next. Each variant available to lend its unique ruminative or propulsive elements to the music preceding or succeeding it. It's a hypnotic concept to be sure, played out with the clock work precision of his ensembles Ronin, with recordings like the staggering Awase ...

16

Album Review

Nik Bärtsch: Entendre

Read "Entendre" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Swiss keyboardist & composer Nik Bärtsch has been recording for two decades, mostly with his Ronin and Mobile groups and their overlapping musicians. A ceaseless experimenter, his early release Hishiryo: Piano Solo (Ronin Rhythm Records, 2002) was a genre-neutral project where he played piano, prepared piano, and percussion. It has been almost twenty years between solo albums, but Bärtsch has made the wait worthwhile with Entendre, his seventh album for the ECM label. It reflects the notion that music does ...

10

Album Review

Nik Bartsch: Entendre

Read "Entendre" reviewed by Chris May


Back in 2006, Swiss composer and keyboard player Nik Bärtsch's ECM debut, Stoa, recorded with his group Ronin, sounded like the album James Brown might have made if he'd appointed Steve Reich musical director of his backing band, The J.B.'s. Simultaneously cerebral and on the good foot, it was minimalism, Jim, but not as we knew it. Bärtsch called the music “zen funk." Since then, Bärtsch has continued to explore the deep space of music-as-math, shuffling and ...

12

Jazzmatazz

Jazz, Zen, and Hip-Hop: The 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival

Read "Jazz, Zen, and Hip-Hop: The 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival" reviewed by Matt Hooke


Exploring the grounds of the Montreal Jazz Festival is like going to all you can eat Las Vegas buffet. “Look over there at table four; there's Dixieland. Wait at table six, there's Latin jazz, supposedly the main table as a new head chef, let's go there." You can stuff yourself by going to more than ten concerts during a single 13-hour day at the festival. The best part is that all of the outdoor concerts, over ...

2

Radio

Jazz Crescendos Galore!

Read "Jazz Crescendos Galore!" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


When creating a radio playlist one always has to make sure to sequence songs in a meaningful way. The dynamics of their interaction is critical. There should be not too many fast pieces played back to back, nor too many ballads one after the other. Fast and slow, soft and loud should be sequenced in a logical manner. Ideally, leading to a climax through one or more crescendos of songs. This week we have decided to create ...

3

Live Review

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin At The Bop Stop

Read "Nik Bärtsch's Ronin At The Bop Stop" reviewed by Matt Hooke


Nik Bartsch's Ronin Bop Stop Cleveland, Ohio October 28, 2018 The way Nik Bärtsch dresses reveals a lot about his music. He steps up to the piano wearing a Samue, the traditional dress of Zen Buddhist monks, and sneakers. One represents a spiritual tradition thousands of years old, requiring the utmost discipline and training to master. The later represents modern casual fun. His Samue reflects the time he spent in a Japanese monastery, the sneakers ...

1

Live Review

Nik Bartsch's Ronin at Dazzle

Read "Nik Bartsch's Ronin at Dazzle" reviewed by Geoff Anderson


Nik Bärtsch's Ronin Dazzle Denver, CO October 24, 2018 “Zen Funk." That's how Nik Bärtsch describes his music. “Zen:" the seeking of true enlightenment, often through meditation. “Funk:" a highly rhythmic, syncopated form of music. Zen Funk, yeah, that's it. The funk ranges from subtle to structural to urgent. The repetitive nature of the funk lines can be trance-inducing, leading to a meditative state which, of course, leads to true enlightenment. ...


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