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

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A Musical Portrait Of Cortex

Read "A Musical Portrait Of Cortex" reviewed by Centro d'Arte Padova

For this new installment of our “50/50" series, we asked the members of Cortex (Thomas Johansson, Kristoffer Berre Alberts, Ola Høyer, Gard Nilssen), one of the most interesting groups in the burgeoning Norwegian jazz scene, to choose five tracks that inspired them in their music making. We then completed the selection with five other tracks taken from the band's already rich discography. Playlist Cortex “Opening" from Live! (Clean Feed) 00:00 Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath “Mra" from ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cortex: Avant-Garde Party Music

Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" reviewed by John Sharpe

Why change a winning formula? If Norwegian crew Cortex has considered that question, then the response was likely an unconcerned shrug. Studio session Avant-Garde Party Music continues firmly in the winning vein established by Clean Feed predecessors Live! (2014) and Live In New York (2016), mashing 1960s New Thing tropes with contemporary inside/outside soloing. Trumpeter Thomas Johansson pens all eight pieces in the 38-minute program, for the by now familiar cast list, completed by reedman Kristoffer Berre Alberts. bassist Ola ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark Corroto's Best Releases of 2017

Read "Mark Corroto's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Mark Corroto

And what a year it was. With all hurricanes, raging fires, and end-of-the-world politics, we were fortunate to have the magical salve that is music. Complied here are my favorite releases of this past year. I tried to pare down a long list of 50 to 10, but it was impossible. The music you see below has continued in heavy rotation in my house, my car, and on my phone. Matthew Shipp Trio Piano Song

ALBUM REVIEW

Cortex: Avant-Garde Party Music

Read "Avant-Garde Party Music" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Do you have Blue Zone envy? You know the places where people live the longest and happiest lives on the planet. They seem to get more physical activity then we do, eat better, love their communities and politicians. Politicians? I know. They even make some of the best modern jazz. Case in point the Norwegian quartet Cortex. It includes trumpeter Thomas Johansson (Friends & Neighbors, Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit), saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts (Saka, Snik, Starlite Motel), bassist Ola Høyer ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cortex: Live In New York

Read "Live In New York" reviewed by John Sharpe

Live In New York constitutes the fourth outing by young Norwegian outfit Cortex. It's one of a stream of top notch dates emerging on the Portuguese Clean Feed label by a welter of interconnected bands from the burgeoning Scandinavian scene. All four members share a common background in jazz studies from Trondheim, but are now active in a variety of guises. Trumpeter Thomas Johansson appears on All Included's Satan in Plain Clothes (2015)and Friends & Neighbors' What's Wrong? (2016), while ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cortex: Live in New York

Read "Live in New York" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Do you remember when you first heard Ornette Coleman's The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic, 1959)? It could have been fifty years ago or five, but its life force remains. Its music was/is nearly impossible to ignore. The same can be said of the Norwegian quartet Cortex's Live In New York. It sizzles with a barely contained energy, one that has yet to be harnessed or become world-weary. This release is their fourth and the second for ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cortex: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

As the marketing info implies, this Scandinavian quartet summons remembrances of the Ornette Coleman ensemble featuring Don Cherry performing on cornet. Yet by no means are these gentlemen copycats. Hence, each composition imparts a different story, whether the artists are melding an open-air sound with bursting breakouts and idiosyncratic intonations or generating aggressive free-form escapades on these compositions by cornetist Thomas Johansson. Other than some loosely designed Ornette inferences, these works come at you from a myriad of sharp angles, ...


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