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

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: Outstairs

Read "Outstairs" reviewed by John Kelman

After a four-year break following the biennial run of four recordings beginning with 2003's Sofienberg Variations and ending with 2009's Fabula Suite Lugano (all on ECM), Christian Wallumrød returns with Outstairs. Building on the strength of what came before, the pianist/composer continues to assert a clear identity with this slightly altered ensemble, not only capitalizing on its own intrinsic chemistry but that of two specific members--extant ensemble trumpeter Eivind Lønning and, replacing Baroque harpist Giovanna Pessi, tenor saxophonist Espen Reinertsen--whose ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: Fabula Suite Lugano

Read "Fabula Suite Lugano" reviewed by John Kelman

With The Zoo is Far (ECM, 2007), Norwegian pianist Christian Wallumrød introduced a group that expanded on the unique sonorities of his other, same-titled Christian Wallumrød Ensemble. That other Ensemble--the quartet responsible for A Year From Easter (ECM, 2005), and which gave an equally nuanced performance at Molde Jazz 2009--explored the nexus of improvisation and composition, rooted in traditional Norwegian folk music, and Wallumrød's personal synchronism of contemporary and Baroque classicism. The six-piece Ensemble of The Zoo began a fundamental ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: Fabula Suite Lugano

Read "Fabula Suite Lugano" reviewed by David McLean

Christian Wallumrød has that rare gift of having an instantly recognizable sound. The pianist's music is characterized by unique blend of early music, romanticism, and traditional Scandinavian folk music idioms played with the looseness of jazz and academic curiosity reminiscent of two of his major influences, John Cage and Morton Feldman. Wallumrød has managed to harmonise these contradictory elements to create a wondrously obscure new music. However, the sound is never dependent on the polarity of these oppositions; its existence ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod: The Zoo Is Far

Read "The Zoo Is Far" reviewed by Budd Kopman

With The Zoo Is Far, pianist/composer Christian Wallumrød increases his compositional control of the musical forces, now a sextet, at his disposal. This is music of the interior mind, which has an intensity fused to a melancholic beauty. It is mesmerizing, while existing at the boundary of composition and jazz. The quartet that appeared on A Year From Easter (ECM,2005)--Wallmurød, Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Per Oddvar Johansen (drums, percussion), Nils Økland (violin, Hardanger fiddle, viola)--has been augmented with ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: The Zoo is Far

Read "The Zoo is Far" reviewed by John Kelman

Like many Scandinavian musicians, pianist Christian Wallumrod leads a double life. As a collaborator with artists including singer Sidsel Endresen, saxophonist Karl Seglem and guitarist Jon Eberson, he's an electric player capable of fitting into more jazz-centric (albeit often Nu Jazz) contexts. On his all-acoustic ECM discography, however, he's led a series of groups exploring a space that joins increasing interest in classical composers with improvisation that's largely part of more defined constructs. Unlike fellow Norwegian Trygve Seim, who similarly ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod: The Zoo Is Far

Read "The Zoo Is Far" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Pianist Christian Wallumrød expands his quartet to a sextet forThe Zoo is Far. Alongside returning trumpeter Arve Henriksen and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen, Wallumrød introduces three string players--violinist Gjermund Larsen (who replaces Nils Økland), cellist Tanja Orning and Baroque harpist Giovanna Pessi. This unique cast of highly-gifted performers makes music that at the same time seems to be both floating and free and intensely melodic. The album's twenty-four pieces find unusual sources of inspiration including the Fantasias ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: A Year from Easter

Read "A Year from Easter" reviewed by John Kelman

Like fellow Norwegian and occasional collaborator Trygve Seim, pianist Christian Wallumrød occupies a musical space where improvisation takes place within rigidly structured contexts. But while that is nothing particularly revolutionary in and of itself, the degree to which Wallumrød (and Seim) mesh the two potentially divergent philosophies is what distinguishes A Year from Easter, his third release as a leader for ECM. Rather than subscribing to the more traditional jazz aesthetic of stating a theme and then opening a piece ...


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