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Mikkel Ploug & Mark Turner: Faroe

Read "Faroe" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While tenor saxophone heavy Mark Turner has toured with guitarist Mikkel Ploug's quartet for approximately a decade, the unique musical alliance developed between this pair has never before received such a high degree of attention. With Faroe, Ploug presents thirteen original compositions written or rearranged specifically to telescope their bond(s), explore the very essence of the melodic-harmonic communion, and artfully merge the precomposed and the improvised. Opening with the title track, a number that finds Turner's matte-finish melodies ...

HI-RES JAZZ

Dálava, Gordon Grdina and Mikkel Ploug: Songs Old, and Sounds New

Read "Dálava, Gordon Grdina and Mikkel Ploug: Songs Old, and Sounds New" reviewed by Mark Werlin

Strangeness--a word that connotes foreignness, otherness, and a sense of unease when confronted by the unfamiliar. The sound of recognizable musical forms may attract us, in the same way we are drawn to familiar faces or voices. The sound of a foreign language may set us on the alert; syllables we do not recognize, meanings we cannot understand. And what if the words cannot always cross the boundary from one language to another, and the meanings never be ...

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Mikkel Ploug: Alleviation

Read "Alleviation" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Alleviation is a fascinatingly winsome document showcasing what occurs when tool serves as muse. While out and about in New York in 2016, Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug happened upon a musical curio--a mahogany-top Gibson Banner LG-2. The instrument, essentially a wartime relic made by the (mostly) female work force in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant in the early '40s, was a worn-down wonder, preserved yet clearly put through life's demands. But the personality, quality of sound, and innate character of this guitar ...

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Equilibrium: Liquid Light

Read "Liquid Light" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This European trio's third release is abetted by Songlines Recordings' pristine audio processes, which is a vital aspect since many of these tracks are quietly penetrating in scope and designed with ethereal atmospherics. The artists' specialty may lie within an artsy, avant-garde schema via a channel of electro-acoustic tone poems, enamored by Sissel Vera Pettersen's luminous and diffused wordless chants. Even though these largely temperate pieces are lithely woven amid the bumps, spikes, valleys, and a hint of new age ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Equilibrium: Liquid Light

Read "Liquid Light" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The concept of equilibrium is all about the balancing of opposing forces, actions, or influences; the music of Equilibrium is largely about the same, though some twists, focal point shifts, and ambient sound plays complicate and muddy the concept a bit. Equilibrium--a trio comprised of Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst, Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug, and Norwegian vocalist Sissel Vera Pettersen--quietly yet boldly goes to places unknown, finding and creating the maximum in minimalist settings while blending voices and ...

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Mikkel Ploug / Sissel Vera Pettersen / Joachim Badenhorst: Equilibrium

Read "Equilibrium" reviewed by Wilbur MacKenzie

Equilibrium is three-way partnership between Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug, Belgian saxophonist and clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst and Norwegian vocalist and saxophonist Sissel Vera Pettersen. The trio's charming and ruminative mixture borrows elements of contemporary chamber music, jazz and various indigenous vocal traditions ranging from Inuit throat singing to West African griots and incorporates a variety of extended instrumental techniques and electronic processing. The trio revels in the sonorities it produces and each texture that arises exists in its ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mikkel Ploug Group: Harmoniehof

Read "Harmoniehof" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug, a rising player in the vein of such contemporaries as Kurt Rosenwinkel and Torben Waldorff, articulates his own vocabulary--one that contains folk, rock, and modern jazz sensibilities. Harmoniehof, the follow-up to Ploug's eponymous 2006 debut on Fresh Sound New Talent featuring saxophonist Mark Turner, further illuminates his tightly knit band. Turner's ubiquitous voice (constant session work, and a member of the critically acclaimed collaborative group Fly), has been an integral part of Ploug's ...


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